Spices and Seasons – Tomato Fish Curry


FC_sqI went back to my sequencing the Indian meal, and this week I was talking about entrees, of course with a caveat that the Indian meal is often served family style rather than in courses. This week, I thought I would feature a fish curry, something that is quite popular in our house. This dish called fish achari, is distinct in that it gets its flavors from whole spices like nigella seeds and fenugreek, that are typically used in Indian pickles. The word achari is derived from the Indian word achar or pickle and as you can guess this refers to a recipe with a generous  dose of spice. Well, while the temperatures are getting warmer next week, (hey, I will take the double digits over the crazy deep freezer we seem to have settled into this week), it still is cold enough to savor hot and spicy food. That is pretty much how I deal with the cold, loads of spices and hot ginger tea. So, what is your favorite cold weather pick me up?

With people keeping an eye out for lenten meals, and coming to think of it given that my column usually posts on a Monday, it probably makes for a good meatless dish. Now, this curry has a deep and flavorful base, with tomatoes, cayenne pepper and nicely toasted whole spices all simmered into a lovely heartwarming perfection of a sauce. It tastes great with freshly steamed rice, possibly an easy basmati rice pilaf like the one featured here on Spice Chronicles, or if you like you can actually enjoy it with hot and crusty bread not unlike any other stew in your life and coming to think of it, it would taste just fine over polenta as well.

FC with Rice

Collards, Quinoa and Fruit

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 Servings

You can easily substitute the collards for kale in the quick dish.


  • 1 ½ - 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup dry fruit of your choice: cherry, cranberry, apricot or raisin
  • 2 bunches of collards
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Zest and juice of one lemon, divided


  1. Place the dry fruit in a small bowl and cover with warm water to plump a little. Set aside.
  2. Strip the tough stem from the collards. Stack and roll the leaves like a cigar and cut in ½ - ¾ “ slices.
  3. Heat a large saute pan with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the sliced collards tossing to coat all the leaves. (Add additional olive oil if needed.) Season with salt and pepper and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup of water and let it evaporate, steaming the collards slightly, another 5 minutes. Add the zest of the lemon, toss and set aside in a large bowl.
  4. Drain the fruit, add to the collard bowl along with the quinoa and fluff with tongs to mix it throughout.
  5. In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice and olive oil to make a little dressing, to your taste. Season with salt and pepper and dress the salad.
  6. Serve warm or cold.


About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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