Salmon Kalia, Easy Passionfruit Ice-Cream and Super Quick Cake for Tea

Salmon Kalia
(from The New Curry Secret)

Light and delicious - sponge cake cooked in the microwave
and topped with chocolate icing and dessicated coconut

The thermometer outside is reading 38°C, inside it is a comparitively cool 29.3°C.  Less than 3 weeks ago it was so different, we had the log fire blazing each evening and were savouring winter vegetables in warming curries, casseroles and soups.  It seems like just overnight we've gone from comfort food to light salads. It has been warm to hot for several days now and it hasn't rained for a while. The ground outside my window is like a thick carpet of golden straw, except around the building area of the main house where the excavators have dug up the red clay which is now covering everything with a layer of red dust.  We are short of rain water and whilst we can buy town water I've taken to carrying a bucket with me into the shower, using the washing up water and catching anything that drips to water the trees.  My husband is not sure what to make of my new found frugality but I feel the need to conserve such a precious resource.

There's no air conditioning in the cottage and the cooking facilities are meagre taking into account my love of cooking.  We hadn't planned to spend so much time here until the house was built but it is a lovely peaceful environment in stark contrast to the fast moving rat race that is Sydney and we love it. With the ceiling fans going it is bearable as long as you don't move around too fast or cook.  Baking is definitely out!  However, we need a change from salad tonight and the cake tin is empty, and whilst I've never been a huge fan of microwaved cakes this is one of those times it seems like a great idea.  I have some curry sauce in the freezer so the Salmon Kalia will be a cynch and the ice-cream takes no effort at all!

Salmon Kalia

This tasty, satisfying curry with its origins in Bengal is traditionally made with a Carp like fish called Katla. The delicious aromatically spiced sauce is flavoured with a special spice blend called Panch Phoran (five spices) which complements the oily fish beautifully. Salmon is an excellent substitute for the traditional fish but other varieties of fish can also be used.

Serves 4

Preparation and cooking time: 20 – 25 minutes

Spice Blend
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp onion seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds

4 salmon cutlets or fillets about 200g (7 oz) each
1 tsp turmeric
1 ½ tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
2 tsp tomato paste (tomato puree double concentrate)
600ml (21 fl. oz) curry sauce
1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 ripe tomato sliced into 8 wedges (or 4 cherry tomatoes halved)
2 hot red chillies, de-seeded and sliced, or to taste
½ tsp garam masala
2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • Combine all the spices for the spice blend and set aside. Mix half the turmeric with half of the salt and rub over the fish. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a deep, heavy based frying pan and add the spice blend. Stir around in the hot oil for about 20 seconds until the seeds start to pop and add the garlic. Fry for another few seconds and stir in the tomato paste and remaining turmeric.
  • Stir fry for a minute and add the curry sauce, paprika and the remaining salt. Bring to the boil and cook on high for 2 minutes until thickened slightly. Turn down the heat and stir in the yoghurt. Simmer while preparing the fish.
  • Heat a separate pan capable of holding all the fish in a single layer. Cook on high heat for a minute each side or until lightly browned.
  • Transfer the fish to the sauce and turn the pieces in the sauce until each piece is completely coated. Bring to the boil and turn down the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, turning once. Stir in the tomatoes half way through.
Transfer to a serving platter or plates, sprinkle with the red chillies, garam masala and coriander and enjoy with rice.

Easy Passionfruit Ice-Cream

Everyone loves ice-cream and everyone can enjoy this without guilt.  It is low in fat yet tastes creamy and delicious.  In fact you can leave the cream out altogether and make up the quantity with evaporated milk, it still tastes great.  The passion fruit gives it a really yummy fruity aroma and flavour but you can leave it out and stir in half a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.

Serves 8-10

225ml (8 fl. oz) sweetened condensed milk
600 ml (14 fl oz) light evaporated milk
200 ml single or double cream
6-8 passion fruits

  • Whisk the two types of milk and cream if using in a bowl until well combined and frothy. Pour into your ice-cream maker and set to churn according to manufacturers instructions.
  • Meanwhile remove pulp from passion fruit.  Press half of pulp through a sieve to remove seeds.  Discard seeds.  This is optional of course.  I don't like too many seeds so I prefer to remove some but you may choose to leave them all in or remove all of them.  It's entirely up to you.
  • Add pulp to ice-cream maker and continue to churn until ready.
If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, place the mixture in the freezer. Remove from the freezer after 30 minutes and beat with a whisk or a fork until smooth. Repeat twice more and freeze until hard.

Super Quick Cake

This takes about 15 minutes all up and is great with a cup of tea of coffee.  The olive oil helps make the sponge moist and makes it more healthy too. For a variation, I sometimes make it without the icing and include a generous amount of organic, sulphur free sultanas stirred into the cake batter for a really moist, fruity cake. 

Genuine free range eggs are essential to give the cake a nice golden colour.

6 tablespoons organic self-raising flour
4 tablespoons caster sugar
60g (2oz) cold butter
3 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 large or 3 small free range eggs
1/2 cup organic milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Icing
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp dutch cocoa powder
1 tbsp boiling water
1 cup dessicated coconut

  • Grease a 20cm round or square microwave proof cake dish and line with baking paper.
  • Place the flour, sugar and chopped up butter into the bowl of a food processor and process for a minute or two until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together the oil, eggs, milk and vanilla extract .  Make a well in middle of the dry ingredients and add the liquid mixture.
  • Gently fold in until well combined but do not over mix.
  • Transfer batter to cake dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.   Allow the cake to stand for 3-4 minutes and check if cooked by inserting a skewer or knife into it.  It should come out clean.  If not, microwave at 30 second intervals until done.
  • Turn out the cake onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
  • To make the chocolate icing, combine the icing sugar and cocoa and add the boiling water.  Mix well and add another tablespoon or so of cold water until you have thick, glossy easily spreadable icing.
  • Pour onto the cake and spread to cover.  Sprinkle on the coconut, slice and serve.


Debs said...

All yum, yum, yum; especially like the look of the sponge cake.

Sweet and Savory said...

Everything looks delicious but that cake looks as light as fairy dust. It could just float away. It must be delicious.

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the

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