Fish for Dysphagia
Fish is an excellent protein source for dysphagia. I spent some time discussing with my fish monger what fish to use in this curry. As a result, we decided on Ling and Gurnard. It needs to be boneless, smooth and moist to swallow. I gave him my story of HNC treatment the surgery, tongue removal, radiotherapy damage and what I had to do to the fish to ensure I had some hope of swallowing it. We decided on fish that met the criteria both swallow and budget wise. I had never tried Gurnard before and was not disappointed. Paul was right, the Gurnard imparted a fresh seawater flavour and as a result the end dish was magnificent.
Here’s my version which I served with a little soft steamed rice, coconut yogurt and minted yoghurt sauce purchased from my local Indian Takeaway. That little container of minted yoghurt sauce took the dish to a whole other level. You can use whatever strong boneless fish you can find locally. It must withstand cooking and not fall apart. Enjoy. You can watch me prepare fish here
1/4 cup vegetable oil (Peanut oil works too)
1 Purple onion
Garlic – 2-3 cloves grated
Ginger 5cm grated finely
12 fresh curry leaves, plus extra sprigs to garnish (optional)
2 long green chillies, sliced (optional)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar (coconut sugar)
400ml can coconut cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
500g boneless Ling or snapper or gurnard fish
250grams of green prawn meat too (optional)
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges and tomato concasse about 500mils
60g baby spinach & a handful of cauliflower flowerettes
I add about 6 spearmint/peppermint leaves in the final cook – finely sliced
Steamed basmati rice, to serve
I make a curry paste with all the ingredients (minus the fish and vegetable) by grinding all the ingredients in a mortar & pestle or a specialised spice grinder.
In a small blender add the onion, garlic, ginger (chili if using) and stock. Then add in the dry ingredients and blend until it’s super fine.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and stir fry for about 5 minutes until it is fragrant.
Add tamarind, sugar, coconut cream and tomato concasse. Bring to a simmer. Add fish.
Cook, covered, for 3 minutes or until fish is almost cooked through. Add prawns and whole fresh tomato. Cook, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes or until seafood is cooked through. Stir in spinach.
Serve with rice Coconut or dairy yoghurt with mint.