It’s January 2020. We are off the grid, without a shower nor a toilet. He caught a fish. Hunting, as a man. I turned it into nutrition, as a woman.
He caught the brown trout ‘blind casting’. It means you don’t spot a fish and then cast , (throw your line to catch it). But you throw your line seemingly blind, waiting for random chance to bestow you. Catching fish while casting blind in most rivers around the world is quite exceptional. You actually got to read the water and know very well and through experience, where fish like to hang out, casting your line patiently, again and again. If you are lucky you harvest your prey. The nymph disappears, the line tightens, the fish is hooked. A victorious feeling is eased down as the complicated game starts to get the fish into the net. The fish has to swim into it. No pulling, no tearing. This time we take the fish home to cook and eat from it for five days. All other fish that are caught during a month cruising around Tasman in New Zealand are released back into the water. It’s a sport. But sometimes it’s real life. And that time is now. It’s beautiful. And the beautiful brown trout is turned into the best fish curry ever.
2 cups water
1 garlic glove chopped
1/2 thumb ginger chopped
1 fresh turmeric pinky finger, peeled, not chopped (!)
1 dried Chipotle chili or 1/2 tsp ground Chipotle chili
1 stick cinnamon or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tomato, quartered, take seeds out, chop finely, slice remaining flesh
250 grams or 2 cups pumpkin, diced
Additionally you will need:
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 an eggplant
oil for frying
2 stalks spring onion
1 small trout, brown, rainbow or salmon trout. Cleaned and head removed, skin on
Bring the curry ingredients (first list) to the boil together. Close curry pot with lid. Simmer for 20 minutes or till pumpkin is tender
Separately in frying pan roast 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds. When they start popping (out of the pan) add 1/2 cup desiccated coconut. Dry roast during 2 minutes more (no oil) until coco meal turns brown. This happens suddenly and rapidly. Pay attention! This is the pumpkin version of the Indonesian peanut/coconut sprinkle named seroendeng. Transfer into a plate to stop it from cooking further. Keep till you start serving.
Separately dice 1/2 eggplant in same size dice as pumpkin. Poor generous oil in a frying pan. Brown the eggplant. Lower the heat. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until eggplant is really tender, soft and shiny. Add generous oil as you go to prevent it from getting dry. The eggplant will becomes a glazen kind of buttery soft.
Chop 1 spring onion.
When pumpkin is tender, add 1/2 can of coconut milk to the curry pot. Turn heath up. Take lid off. Reduce a bit. During the remaining time it takes to bake the fish.
Now take 1 small trout, clean and head removed. Fry in a little bit of oil on a full flame until skin almost burns. Take out. Peel flesh from the skin. Inside the flesh is still moist, just cooked through.
Put the deskinned trout in a shallow dish. Scoop pumpkin curry on top of it. Add buttery soft slow fried cubes of egg plant, diced fresh avocado and chopped raw spring onion. Garnish generously with the pumpkin seed / desiccated coconut ‘seroendeng’.