I have to find the will to curry on…
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Ah… We Will Rock You… the show where the best joke is a big black man mistakenly naming himself after his rock’n’roll hero, Britney Spears (other characters include Galileo, Scaramouche and Killer Queen – you get the idea). It’s a good thing the music is good. The show is a post-apocalyptic dystopian rock juke-box musical (sound familiar, Bat Out Of Hell?) with a book by British TV comedian and author Ben Elton (who also wrote the book for Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s interesting if flawed IRA football show, The Beautiful Game) and music by legendary band Queen. Loathed by critics, We Will Rock You was a big hit in London, with lure of beloved rock anthems sung live pulling in the punters (it even won an Olivier Award for most popular show in 2011, 9 years after opening). Multiple productions and tours have sprung up around the world, including North America, although it has never made it to Broadway.
The Show Must Go On is a classic track from Queen’s last album prior to Freddy Mercury’s death, Innuendo, and the lyrics allude to his struggle to perform whilst slowly succumbing to AIDS. No laughing matter – and perhaps why it was NOT included in We Will Rock You (a fact I only came to realise after cooking the dish and coming up with the title!). However, The Show Must Go On was used, on occasion, as an encore after some performances, and so I am vindicated in including it here. Thank you, Wikipedia!
Goa is a state situated on India’s west coast, famed for it’s seafood and aromatic dishes influenced by its Portuguese colonial heritage. The Portuguese brought cashew nuts, chillies and tomatoes (amongst other things) to Goan cuisine, which spread to other regions of India. This recipe is my take on a Goan fish curry, but probably not entirely traditional… and it probably won’t be available in a dystopian post-apocalyptic fantasy world, so eat it before the world ends.
I prefer to roast the fish and serve it with the sauce, but you could cut it up and cook it in the sauce if you prefer (it breaks up too much for my liking). Alternatively, you could pan-fry if you like crispy fish-skin. I used halibut on this occasion, but substitute whatever fish or seafood you prefer. I also included a pan-fried scallop for each person – shrimp would have been good too, or just keep it simple with the fish. Use a good quality curry paste if you can’t find all the spices easily.
Heat some oil in a pan and add a cinnamon stick, the cumin seeds, cardamom seeds and the mustard seeds (warning, these will spit!). Once the pan has died down, add the chopped onion and cook until these have caramelised (be patient!). Add the garlic, ginger, tomato, zucchini/courgette, green chillies (if using), chopped cilantro (coriander leaf) stalks, ground coriander and ground cumin and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the coconut milk and tamarind paste. Adjust the seasoning as you see fit. Let the sauce simmer until the zucchini have softened. Stir through some garam masala. Cook the rice as you normally would.
Meanwhile prepare the fish. Skin the fillet and pat dry. Season with salt and a pinch of ground cumin and ground coriander. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and pat these onto the top surface of the fish. Bake in a hot oven (200C/400F) until cooked (10 mins is probably fine). Tip any juices into the sauce.
At the last minute, stir some of the chopped cilantro through the sauce. Serve the roasted fish fillet on the rice with the sauce, garnishing with some more cilantro. Some chopped toasted cashew nuts would be a good addition (but I still haven’t got round to buying some since I made Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Massaman!).