Rice+peas, tilapia, caramelised onions, pumpkin leaves+comfrey

When I visited my mother this weekend she gave me some comfrey from her garden. I’ve never seen these vegetables in the market but they’re nice, they have a distinct flavour.

the comfrey greens

They’re also thick and filling like pumpkin leaves. In fact, she said to cook them with pumpkin leaves, in onions and grated carrots. She already had some pumpkin leaves blanched and stored away in the freezer so she gave me a pack.

I thought that it would go well with the tilapia.

I put water to boil for the rice while washing and cutting up the fish. For a change, I put in a handful of peas. Also added salt.

peas in water for the rice
tilapia, washed and cut

Just as I was about to start washing the veggies, KP (no LC) cut the power (-_-)

cooking by candle light

By the time I was done lighting the candles the water for the rice was ready. I put a bit of cooking oil in it before adding the rice.

rice in the water

Earlier today on the way home, I told my husband I needed to pass by the store to get a few things. He doesn’t like grocery shopping so he always comes up with an alternative. He suggested that we just go out for dinner. I told him the fish was already defrosted — he likes fish. In hindsight,… yeah!

I coated the fish with spiced flour and shallow fried it in a pan. Here is what I put in the flour mix:

1 cup baking flour
1 heaping teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
2 teaspoons dhana jeera (a blend of powdered coriander seed and cumin seed)
1 tablespoon ground pepper

spicing the flour

Mix the spices and flour in a mixing bowl or something wide till it’s blended nicely. Then, depending on the size of your frying pan, coat the first batch of fish. Make sure all sides are coated nicely.

coating fish with the spiced flour

I put some cooking oil in the pan, let it heat up a little, then added the coated fish.

in the pan

I covered the pan and lowered the fire to a medium-low heat. Cooked it for about four minutes on each side. You may have to add a bit of oil to the pan in between batches.

first batch done

I washed and cut up the comfrey while waiting to turn the fish.

ready to blanch, used a flashlight for the photo, candles were not enough

Then I blanched it and set it aside. There was a lot of spiced flour left after I was done coating the last batch of fish. I didn’t want to throw it all out. As I was chopping onions for the veggies, I had an idea. Why not coat some onions with the flour and fry them till they caramelise a little? So I did.

onions in the spiced flour

I put them in a wide mesh sieve to remove the excess flour (I would not suggest saving the excess flour, use it immediately for something else or throw it out as it had raw fish dipped in it. Alternatively, you could coat the fish in a separate dish, adding the flour mix in portions so that what it left can be saved for later.)

through a wide mesh sieve

Them I put them in the same pan that I fried the fish in, with a bit of cooking oil and a chunk of butter

in the pan with butter

I covered the onions and lowered the fire.

Then I went back to the veggies. I cut more onions, and grated the carrots. Fried the onions in a bit of oil, added the carrots when they softened, then the blanched comfrey and the pumpkin leaves my mother gave me.

veggies cooking

When the veggies were just about done, I remembered the onions. I was too late. They were burned at the bottom and bitter. I tasted one of the pieces at the top that wasn’t burned and decided it was too good not to have. So I cut up more onions and made another batch of spiced flour, just enough for the onions

starting over
in the pan with butter

This time I payed more attention. Everything else was ready so there were no distractions

sizzle sizzle!
onions are ready

Husband Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆
yummy!!! Didn’t help that I couldn’t see the food in the darkness, but it tasted good.

Shooting these photos in candle light was such a challenge!! I remembered I had a tripod much later, that would have really helped a lot. I could have done longer exposure times.


About aika

Making, eating and sharing good food are a splendid way to start, brake and end a day! I post good eats on www.pendolamama.co.ke. Life is a feast, eat up!

2 thoughts on “Rice+peas, tilapia, caramelised onions, pumpkin leaves+comfrey

    1. I tell him not think about the shopping so much, that he should focus on the end result. Don’t focus on the flour, think about the scones and chapatis. Don’t think about the sugar, focus on the tea and cakes. You know?

      He’s still working on it (^_^)


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