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January 14, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 7:14 pm

I know, I know, its half way through January - why am I posting about something that happened around Christmas now?

The reason is because Dad took this long to send me the photos.  Now I can tell you what I made to satisfy the requirements on this enormous list.

First of all I should give a bit of background on my parents’ eating. It is fairly well described here.  Almost all meals at their house are curries. On occasion you’ll find them making a spicy stir fry. The general method of cooking is ‘boil with curry powder.’

So, when I arrived at Mum and Dad’s on Sunday, it turned out mum was working that night so the family meal had to be delayed until Christmas day. However we’d bought some tuna chunks from Sainsbury which were going to become Mum’s dinner. Dad was going to curry them (for a change :roll: ). I couldn’t think of many worse ways to treat tuna and I felt I needed to prove to Dad that you really don’t need to curry everything. He didn’t seem to believe me.

So rather oddly, Dad and I had a bit of a cook-off. His method: take tuna cubes, simmer for 20-30 minutes in water with two tablespoons (eek!) of sri-lankan roasted curry powder, garlic, ginger and a heck of a lot of chilli.

tuna curry


My method: Marinate tuna cubes with in an ad-hoc ginger-based marinade for an hour. Heat a little olive oil in a non stick pan with a few slivers of garlic and a little green chilli (no seeds.) Fry tuna cubes on a high heat setting until the outside is totally cooked (should be about 1.5 minutes), then turn off the heat and allow the residual heat to keep cooking the fish. After about  a minute and a half, toss through chopped coriander leaves and a little lime juice. Drizzle some chilli-infused oil over the fish and  serve immediately. 

Shame I still hadn’t figured out how to work the auto-focus on Dad’s camera.

my ad-hoc tuna

Mum would be the judge in theory. In practice, things went something like this.Now, I’ve altered some of the wording as I guess not an awful lot of you reading this understand Sinhalese, but the meanings in this conversation have been unchanged.

Mum: We’ve both been overcooking tuna. Next time we pan fry it like this.
Dad: I like mine better.
Mum: But this pan fried tuna is soft. Not tough like the curried tuna.
Dad: I like my tuna hard.
Mum: Also without the curry powder, I can actually taste the fish.
Dad: I don’t like the taste of tuna.
Mum: i like the coriander and chilli too
Dad: I hate coriander.

So there we go. Dad’s tuna dish was better, regardless of what Mum thought.

For my own dinner I had a swordfish steak which I made a hollandaise sauce for. I’m sure I’ve said before that making hollandaise sauce is easy. Correction: making hollandaise sauce is easy IF you have a whisk. My parents don’t, so I was whisking my sauce very quickly with a fork. :(


By some miracle it didn’t curdle. I didn’t dare let it thicken too much, so I had a very, very thin hollandaise. It tasted fine though.

And since you are al probably wondering what the hell I thought up to satisfy Dad’s uber-list of fad requirements. Here is is.


Marinated monkfish with a lime-cream sauce served with chilli noodles and garlic steamed pak choi. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but given the restrictions I thought it wasn’t too bad.

Dad now has a new fad. He doesn’t like things with subtle flavours. I kid you not.


  1. Tuna has a strong flavour of it’s own - exactly why would you want to hide this in curry?


    Comment by Sajini — January 15, 2007 @ 8:05 pm

  2. How funny! Parents and their fixed ideas on food… My father wants all his vegetables (like the two that he eats!) cooked to mush, and pours sugar over his salad tomatoes because “he likes the crunch”. Give me strength ;-)

    And what a coincidence - I also had swordfish this week, plus another blogger blogged swordfish steaks this week too (It slips my mind right now who, though). I spread mine with a paste of olive oil, wholegrain mustard and honey, pressed a lot of coarse-ground black pepepr onto it and then seared it in a very hot griddle pan. Yum.

    Comment by Jeanne — January 19, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

  3. Sajini: I have no idea. Ask his highness why when you next see him.

    Jeanne: I think it was Julia who blogged swordfish. Interesting- that paste sounds just like what I did with my tuna steak last night.

    Comment by ros — January 19, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

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