Caldinho de Peixe
Caldinho de Peixe is a mild fish curry. My mum makes the best ever Caldinho. Mum has her “Little this and little that” measurements which I could never document. I tried my hands at Caldinho recipes and it didn’t meet the approval of my guinea pig. To him and all at home, my Mum’s recipe was the bestest.
I finally got down to making the recipe using a combination of Joyce Fernandes’ recipe and mum’s input.
You can use any firm fleshed fish. At home we generally use Pomfret. I used Basa. For a vegetarian version, you can use bottle gourd, pumpkin, radish, potato, bread fruit, French beans or cabbage. We also make a Caldinho with pumpkin and prawns.
To prevent the gravy from curdling, a teaspoon of poppy seeds are ground with the coconut. This also gives the curry some texture. You can choose to omit this but make sure you simmer the curry on very low heat.
I liked to dedicate this post to my Mum who passed on her good genes (and the not so good ones as well!) Happy Birthday Mumma!
Masala to dry grind
· 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
· 6 peppercorns
· 2 tsp coriander seeds
· 1 tsp turmeric powder
· 1 tsp poppy seeds
· 1/2 kg fish, cleaned and seasoned with
· 2 tbsp oil
· 2 onions, chopped fine
· 1 tomato, chopped fine
· 3 light green chillies, sliced lengthwise
· Milk of 1 coconut
· Salt to taste
· 1 tbsp vinegar
Clean the fish. Season with salt and set aside.
Soak the grated coconut in warm water. Extract coconut milk. Strain the milk using a sieve or muslin cloth and it set aside.
I have no patience for this elaborate process of extracting coconut milk. I used Maggie coconut powder. For this curry I dissolved 6 tbsp of coconut powder in 2 cups of warm water (1 cup = 250 ml)
Grind the ingredients listed under “Masala to dry grind” and set aside.
In a pan, heat oil. Sauté onions till translucent. Add tomato and green chillies. Cook till the tomatoes are mush. When these are cooked, add the dry masala to the sautéed onion mixture. Add the coconut milk. Add fish and cook on low flame. Add salt for seasoning. Once done add vinegar.