Unlike Thai food, the green curry in Parsi food is often seen as the poor cousin of the red curry.
I am not really sure why but you will never see it at family celebrations or dinners where someone special has been invited. In most Parsi households the green curry is also a fall back dinner option for a Wednesday night when mums don’t know what to cook next.
Food relations aside, the beauty of this curry is in its simplicity and ease to make. It is also very versatile and tastes great with fish, mutton or even with some potatoes and peas as a vegetarian option. Moreover, because it uses almost the same ingredients as a green chutney, you can even just use some leftover chutney, add the missing spices and voila! you have a whole new dish – amazing eh?
For those that are a fan of the Green Thai Curry – a caution. This neither tastes nor looks anything like the Thai version – this one is 100% Parsi style. Below, I’ve made my curry with some fresh Surmai I got from the market. However, you can also make it with mutton (account for longer cooking times) or with prawns. Here’s how you make it – ingredient at the end as always.
The first step for any curry is to make the curry paste. This is where you put in most of the raw spices, coconut, coriander, garlic and so on. I suggest that you grind the coconut and garlic first with plenty of water before adding in the other ingredients.
Once you have a fine paste, in a heavy bottomed pan add some oil and heat. Add in the wheat flour and fry it until it is of a bread crumb consistency. The wheat flour acts as the binding agent for your curry and ensures that the coconut doesn’t separate from the spices. Once the flour is crumbled add the curry paste. Fry until the masala is no longer coating the sides of the pan.
Most of the work for your curry is now done. Next, add in atleast 2 – 3 cups water based on the consistency you prefer as well as the potatoes, curry patta and the spices. Let the curry simmer on slow until the potatoes are half cooked.
Meanwhile, marinate your fish in some ginger-garlic paste and salt and let it sit for 10 – 15 mins while the curry simmers
When the potatoes are half cooked, carefully drop in the fish pieces into the curry and give it a slow stir. If you stir the curry too much you risk the fish pieces breaking so be careful. A quick note that if you are making this curry with mutton then you must marinate it atleast 3 – 4 hours before cooking the curry and add it in the earlier step itself with the potatoes. I prefer not pressure cooking my mutton as I feel it dies a second death in there. However, if you want a quick fix dinner then you can pressure cook the mutton separately and add it in now.
Half-cover the pan and let the curry simmer on slow for another 10 – 15 minutes until the fish is cooked. You can also add in eggs if you’d like some boiled egg with your curry (and which Parsi is going to refuse that!) or some green peas if you are a vegetarian.
To make enough for 6 you will need:
Half coconut grated
1 bunch of fresh coriander
2 tsp jeera
6 green chillies
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 pod of garlic (10 – 12 cloves)
1 fresh tomato chopped
1.5 tsp each of turmeric, red chilli and curry powders
2 stalks of fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 serving spoon wheat flour
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste