Madhur Jaffrey's Baked Cod in Yogurt Sauce

Cod with Yogurt.jpg

As promised from our last post, we have here a deliciously scrumptious cod dish that goes ever so perfectly with that coconut rice you've all now been making.  But in all honesty, I did actually promise you something nice to look at on your plate while you ate your coconut rice, and I'm not sure that's exactly what we've got here.  Delicious?  Yes!  Ever much so.  Nice to look at?  Not so much.  There are bloggers out there who have made this and refused to even photograph the finished dish, but we loved it so much, that I wanted to try and do it some justice in a photo.  

And then I sort of gave up.  You cannot look at a photo of this as it comes out of the oven or you would, I promise, never make it.  So I decided to opt for a photo before it goes in and another once it lands on your plate.  It's still not much of a looker, but believe me, looks are so deceiving here.  That little yogurt blanket just snuggles the fish with warm spices and creamy goodness, and the grilled onions make the perfect little bed for our fish buddy.


So that's how it begins... saute some onions and lay them in your baking pan.  Then cut your fish into around 2x3-inch pieces.  This is what Ms. Jaffrey asks us to do, and who am I to argue?  Just do it.  And if you have already-portioned fillets, just place them on the onions in a baking dish, cover with the sauce and bake as directed.  It may take closer to 40 minutes to cook through, depending on how large they are.


Then we're going to combine some thick, creamy yogurt with cumin and coriander and garam masala and ginger and all manner of delicious things and spread it over our fish thusly...


We're going to bake it for about 30 and minutes and then, if possible, avert your eyes as you remove it from the oven.  It's not real purdy.  But it smells divine, and once plated, it looks quite edible.  And then you will have seconds.

Cod with Yogurt Sauce.jpg

And you will serve it with some of that beautiful coconut rice and maybe a few sauteed snap peas and contemplate the goodness of life.  Here's the recipe...

P.S.  I forgot to mention in last week's post on the coconut rice, that any leftover coconut milk can be poured into a jar and stuck into the freezer until you need it.  If freezes beautifully!

Baked Cod in Yogurt Sauce

The only changes I made to this delicious recipe, were to decrease the cooking time a bit.  I found that the fish was just a bit over-cooked at 40 minutes.  I also added a little olive oil to the yogurt sauce as I felt it needed that bit of richness.  Otherwise, this is a gorgeous (tasting) dish that's so easy to make.  Oh, and if you have cod fillets that are already portioned, that's fine.  Just place them in a baking dish large enough to hold them and bake them as directed.

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe adapted a little from Madhur Jaffrey

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 pounds thick fillets cod (see headnote)
2 cups Greek yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
¼ teaspoon garam masala
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cubed (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When hot, add the onions and cook over medium until translucent, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a baking dish just large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Cut the fish fillets crosswise into 2-by-3-inch pieces and lay them over the onions.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, cumin, coriander, garam masala, cayenne and ginger. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour sauce over the fish, tucking some under each piece. Cover with foil and bake until the fish is just cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes.  (I found that the fish was a bit over-cooked at 35 minutes, so I recommend you check it at 30 and if it's flaking, it's done!)

3. If you'd like to make a bit of extra sauce, pour the liquid from the baking dish into a small saucepan (the sauce will look separated); keep fish warm. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce it by half. Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter, a few cubes at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over the fish.  (Patrice: this last step is totally optional, but does make the whole dish a little more moist and sauce-y.  We liked it both ways; with and without the extra sauce.)