Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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One who earns his livelihood by hard work and feeds others
is better than one who can fly in the air
or spread his prayer rug on the surface of water.
A blade of grass can also float on water,
and a fly can also fly in the air.
Indonesian Fish Stew with Fern Tops or Kale
Total time: 1-½ hours
5 lbs. trout or red snapper, whole or thick pieces
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 lbs. fiddlehead fern tops or curly kale (if kale, tear in large pieces)
10 macadamia or kemiri nuts
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 cups sliced onions
2 tsp. chili flakes or chili paste
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. turmeric
5 cups coconut milk
2 tbsp. tamarind paste, in ½ cup water
2 bay leaves
½ cup mint, finely chopped

Lightly salt the fish. Oil a large pot, and put in a layer of fish. Add a layer of fern tops or kale, another layer of fish, and another layer of greens. In a blender or food processor, grind the nuts, garlic, onion, chili, ginger and turmeric, into a thick paste. Add coconut milk and tamarind water, blend well, then pour the mixture evenly over the fish and greens. Put the bay leaves in at the sides of the pot, and sprinkle over with chopped mint. Turn the heat to low and gently bring the stew to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for about an hour, until the fish is well cooked and flavored, but still firm. Serve hot or warm.