Goan Fish Chowder a la Bong Mom

garden in new hampshire on memorial day weekend
newly planted new hampshire garden in Memorial Day sunshine ~ complete with picket fence!

A few weeks ago I saw this irresitible curry dish at Bong Mom’s Cookbook.
It was one of those drop-everything-and-cook-now moments, just like I had with Suganya’s sambhar a long time ago.

Sure enough, the dish was even tastier than it looked; I’ve made it 3-4 times since. I’ve made it as intended, I’ve made it with tofu in place of shrimp…

goan shrimp curry from Bong Mom
with tofu *and* shrimp…

I guess you could say I am hooked πŸ™‚

Tonight I had a nice fresh piece of haddock but no ideas. I thought of S’s wonderful Goan Curry and decided to try it with the fish. I also had a few boiling (waxy) potatoes… hmmm…

While the onions were cooking I thought the potatoes might be good in the curry. By the time I got to frying the spice paste, I had diced the potatoes and tossed them into the pot. That was a throwback to New England clam chowder, in which you cook the potatoes in the clam broth base so they absorb the flavor. By the time the spice paste and tomatoes were well-cooked, the potatoes were about half done — perfect! Time for the coconut milk. Since this was fast turning into ‘chowder’ I made it a little more liquid with water, and covered the pot to simmer until the potatoes were tender.

goan fish chowdah cooking
potatoes cooking in the spicy coconut milk broth

Had I been looking for a low-fat supper I would have put the fish straight in, but by now I was really into this chowder parallel. I shallow-fried the fish in a little coconut oil — o heavenly aroma!

shallow-frying fresh haddock

When you add your fish to the chowder depends on how you like it done — I prefer my fish just barely cooked through, so I added it at the very end, turned off the heat and let it rest about ten minutes before serving. If you prefer your fish falling-apart-done, you could add it sooner and simmer awhile longer before the resting period.

goan fish chowder ~ heaven in a bowl!
goan fish chowder a la Bong Mom ~ fusion heaven in a bowl!

Oh, the delights of this tasty dish! The sharp and tangy bite of vinegar, garlic and chiles, mellowed by the rich coconut; succulent fish and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes, all swimming happily in an aromatic sea of goodness.

All I need now are a few oyster crackers — but I never was a fan of oyster crackers… some rice will do even better.

muthu samba rice in waterfall
muthu samba rice ~ I still think it looks like sugar…

So to recap, this is nothing more than Bong Mom’s wonderful Goan Shrimp Curry with fish fried in coconut oil in place of shrimp, and a few potatoes cooked in the spice paste.

If you haven’t tried the original recipe yet, don’t wait another moment!

bong moms goan spice paste
tantalizing and addictive ~ Bong Mom’s goan spice paste

Thanks for the fusion inspiration, S!

And to S in NH — thanks for the new garden πŸ™‚

feathered friend in nh garden
I’ve heard of bunnies at the garden gate, but turkeys?!? πŸ˜‰



  1. shammimi said

    Wow, I’m going to make this for my husband – it seems a foolproof way to cook fish… and I’m terrified of cooking fish because it’s so difficult to know when it’s done. What other kinds of fish would also work here, Linda?

  2. shammi said

    hey! Who’s Shammimi???


    I don’t know who Shammimi is, but I can’t believe she’s afraid to cook anything! πŸ˜‰

    Just about any mild, white fish would work well in this Shammi, probably scallops too… oh, there’s an idea…! The basic rule-of-thumb for cooking fish here in New England is 10 minutes per inch of thickness — that would be for baking/broiling/frying. Fish is cooked when it turns opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Or, you could always opt for sushi πŸ˜‰

  3. Wowo i sure should check out that recipe for paste, and love thouse pulmp looking prawns in the dish.

    If you like spicy and fragrant you’ll love this, HC πŸ™‚

  4. BongMom said

    Is that your garden Linda ? How beautiful.

    I love all your twists to the curry, the one with haddock and potatoes will get made next.

    It’s my friend S’s in New Hampshire — I got to help plant πŸ™‚ That recipe of yours is a new ‘old’ favorite with me! πŸ™‚

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