Temptations is a new recipe book from Prim Reddy and Niranj Pather. You may recognise Prim Reddy from her career in TV and radio. She went on to open The Indian Chapter Restaurant in Cape Town. For this cookbook she joined forces with Niranj Pather, a cook, baker and entrepreneur. The inspiration behind Temptations was to create quick and easy meals that will make anyone feel like a 5-star chef. It’s not just about the sustenance, It’s about the experience.
The recipes in Temptations span across cultures as well as include recipes that remind them of home. You’ll find South African, Indian, Greek, Mediterranean, Italian, North African and Portuguese flavours within its colorful pages. The recipes are divided into meal categories like breakfast, starters, soups and salads, mains, cakes, bakes and cocktails. It’s best suited for someone who doesn’t have too many dietary restrictions – there’s lots of meat-based recipes, fish and shellfish as well as dairy. However, you’ll also find some plant-based dishes.
In keeping with their theme of simplicity, the ingredients are mostly accessible and familiar aside for a few (like tamarind) which may be harder to find. It’s the cookbook for those who are busy or don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen and want easy, quick recipes full of flavour.
I have chosen to share their recipes for Fish Curry with Sangati. It is an old Reddy family recipe that comes out of their South Indian heritage. It combines hot and sour and pap or sangati as Reddy calls it. Forget the cutlery, it’s best eaten with your hands.
As always I come bringing my changes. I halved the amount of oil. I could not find tamarind paste so instead used tomato paste to give the gravy a darker colour and richer flavour. If you can get Tamarind paste, use that instead of tomato paste. I also cut down on the chilli powder, the recipe called for 40 grams which is about 4 tablespoons! I like my spice, but do not have that level of chili tolerance – feel free to go with their amount or adjust it to your taste. I also opted to use polenta, not maize meal. They’re similar but I prefer polenta. If you love your pap, use that instead.
Lastly, I have included spices in cup measurements not weight, as I know a lot of you may not have a kitchen scale.
Fish Curry with Sangati from Temptations
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon freshly crushed garlic
- 1 kg roma tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 kg Hake Fillets cut into medallions
- 1 cup polenta
- 4 cup water
- 1 lemon halved
- fresh parsely/ coriander
- Heat Olive Oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and crushed garlic. Cook until the onion is soft, 5-8 minutes.
- Add tomatoes to a blender and liquidise. Set aside.
- Once the onions are softened add the chilli powder, ground coriander, ground cumin. Add in the liquidised tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 20 minutes.
- While the tomato gravy is cooking add in the tomato paste.
- Add the fish and cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is fully cooked. It took me about 10 minutes.
- In a saucepan combine the polenta and water over medium heat. Add in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and stir. Cooked for 10-15 minutes, stirring every now again until the water has completely absorbed, and the polenta is cooked. You want it soft not stiff
- Mould the polenta in the middle of a plate (it’s about half a cup cooked per person). Make a well in the middle of the polenta and fill it with fish curry.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the curry and garnish with fresh parsley or coriander.
Temptations was given to us by Penguin Random House and is available here. Penguin Random House nor the author approved or reviewed this piece prior to publication. Opinions are our own. The recipe is reprinted with permission, images are our own.
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