Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Monkfish stew with kohlrabi and peas (olkopi diye macher rosha)

Monkfish is often referred to as the poor man's lobster. It is a wonderfully meaty fish and much less work than a lobster. The fish butcher sells it all cleaned up. This is a mildly spiced stew that my mother would make growing up with shrimp. Monkfish is not available in India - it is found in the Atlantic ocean. Here I have adapted my mom's dish to work with monkfish. I first tasted monkfish in New York and loved the texture, non-fishy taste and how it holds up to stews. Kohlrabi pairs well with the fish. If you have never eaten kohlrabi, this is one way to try it. In the western world it is mostly used in a salad or as a puree. In India, raw salads are not very popular and it is used as a vegetable for either stewing or sauteing. Here are some other ways to use kohlrabi.
The kohlrabi in this recipe, is first cooked with tomatoes and spices and then stewed with the monkfish. Peas are added at the end to retain their color. Great one pot meal to eat with steamed rice.

Monkfish stew with kohlrabi and peas

2 small kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (About 1 1/4 cups)
10 oz monkfish tail, cut into six, 1/2 inch slices (Ask the butcher to give you a cleaned tail)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 medium vine ripened tomato, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander powder
1/3 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
Kosher salt to taste

  1. Heat oil in a 3 qt saute pan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds. Add the kohlrabi as soon as they pop. Reduce heat to medium and saute the kohlrabi for about 3 minutes till it gets some color. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, cayenne, turmeric, and the chopped tomato. Cook till the tomatoes are fully cooked and oil leaves the sides of the pan about 10 minutes.
  2. Now add the pieces of monkfish and saute for about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and cook covered at medium low heat for about 13 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally till the fish and kohlrabi are completely cooked. If the sauce looks too dry, add a few more tablespoons. The end product will be saucy but not soupy!
  3. Finally add the peas and sugar - check for salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Serves 2 as a Main course or 3 as part of a shared meal.