This easy Cod Curry with Pumpkin is made with a spiced pumpkin-tomato sauce, fresh spinach, and gently poached cod.
How do you feel about fall?
Do you love it, with its bright leaves and crisp air?
Or does it fill you with a little bit of anxiety, because you know that winter is just around the corner?
I used to dread fall, since it inevitably meant icy winter was coming– but for a few years now I’ve decided to embrace the changing weather.
Yes, it’s true– showy, bright autumn is followed by a quieter, colder winter.
But that also means that nature has a time to breathe, just before new life bursts out in spring.
For me, part of embracing fall has meant celebrating the foods that make it so special.
One of those foods is pumpkin.
This pumpkin cod curry is made with warming spices, delicately poached fish, and a flavorful pumpkin and tomato sauce.
How Do I Poach Fish?
Have you tried poaching fish yet?
Poaching fish is, in my opinion, without a doubt, absolutely the EASIEST way to cook fish.
When you bake fish, you have to watch the cook time carefully to keep the fish from drying out.
When you sear fish, you have to make sure the fish has been dried off, brought to room temperature, and is placed in a hot pan.
When you grill fish, you have to (as with baking) watch the cook time so that it doesn’t dry out, and take steps to keep it from sticking to the grill plate.
When you poach fish, you don’t have to do ANY of that.
You simply have to add the fish to a sauce, and let it simmer until it’s cooked through.
Since you’re cooking it inside a liquid, the fish won’t dry out.
Even better, when you cook it in a sauce that you’ll be eating, such as a curry or a soup, it’s a-okay if you accidentally forget about the fish, and it starts to fall apart a little into the soup.
What Spices Do I Need?
You need mustard seeds, smoked paprika, and garam masala.
Mustard seeds and smoked paprika should be in the spice aisle at your grocery store.
Garam masala is an Indian spice mixture.
If you’ve got a Kroger, a spice store, an international market, or a Whole Foods nearby– you can find garam masala.
You can also buy garam masala online.
You’ll also need some green onions, a little garlic, fresh spinach, and a can of tomatoes.
How to Make Cod Curry
Start by frying the spices in a little oil.
Add the onions, and then the tomatoes and pumpkin.
Let everything simmer for a few minutes, then add the cod.
Cover the pan, and check back about five minutes later.
When the cod is opaque it’s done cooking, and you’re ready to eat!
Serve your cod curry with some crusty bread, or with rice.
You could even eat this pumpkin cod curry outside while you enjoy fall’s crisp, cool breeze!
Cod Curry with Pumpkin
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 TB mustard seeds
- 1 TB garam masala
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 green onions, diced (use both the white bottoms and green tops)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28oz can whole tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 3 oz fresh spinach (about 2 handfuls)
- 2 cod fillets (~4oz each)
- lemon or lime wedge
- Garnish with (Optional): fresh cilantro (2-3 sprigs, or as desired)
- Serve with (Optional): 1 cup white, basmati, or jasmine rice OR crusty white bread
- If serving with rice, begin cooking the rice according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pan. Add mustard seeds, and let them fry in the oil until they begin to pop.
- Add garam masala and smoked paprika, and sauté 1-2 minutes until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the onions, garlic, and salt, and sauté 1-2 more minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes to the pan, and use a chef’s knife to roughly cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces. Add the pumpkin. Let the mixture simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.
- Add the fresh spinach, and stir the spinach into the tomato-pumpkin mixture.
- Set the two cod fillets on top of the tomato-pumpkin mixture, and cover the pan. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and allow the fish to poach in the curry.
- Uncover the pan– the fish should be opaque white and cooked through.
- Serve your curry as a soup, along with a chunk of bread (if desired), or as curry with a side of rice.
- Top curry with cilantro (optional), and squeeze a little fresh lemon or lime juice over the cod right before serving.
- Leftovers:This curry is best the first day, but can be refrigerated and used within 1 day.