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You know how sometimes, no matter what you do, you get the feeling as if your life is running on repeat mode? Day in and day out, things seem to take on a ridiculously standard routine – you read similar topics in the paper every morning, you watch reruns of the same TV show each day, you drive to same store to shop for the same produce each time, and the worst of all, you eat the same thing for your meals every other day! For the past couple of days, this has been exactly the feeling I find myself going through. No matter how hard I tried, it seemed like my meals were boringly repetitive. The inspiration had disappeared to a remote corner of my creative mind somewhere, and all attempts to revive it had been failing tremendously. That is until Hubby Dear (the sweet caring soul that he is!) decided to whisk me away on a foodie adventure.

We drove down a short distance to the nearby town of Hamilton to visit one of its indoor farmer markets. The ride there was surely scenic, but what took my breath away was the array of fresh, vibrant vegetables! Being the ardent carnivore that I usually am, it was almost surreal to feel my excitement at the sight of rich green broccoli. And I don’t even eat broccoli, no matter how delicious it may look! I was smitten, to say the very least, and within a couple of minutes found myself buzzing around from vendor to vendor picking up a colourful assortment of plump, juicy, fresh produce. Eggplants of different colours, tomatoes of various shapes and sizes, robust bunches of radiant greens, bread, fruits and spices – you name it and I bought it. Bagfuls of it. But the highlight of my shopping would have to be the huge bunch of baby Bok Choy that I picked up for a ridiculously nominal price of a couple of cents. Yes, cents!

Once the veggies were washed, prepped and duly packed in the fridge, I couldn’t wait to plan my week’s menu. Inspiration came flooding back and my mind whizzed with fantastic new recipes waiting to be created and played with. Although I mentally created new flavour combos for all the veggies I had in store, I knew exactly how I wanted to savour the Bok Choy. I went with my classic favourite – simple, quick and satisfying. But I had to pair it up with something that could lift its humble spirit to new heights, and this is what I came up with.

Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 20 min | Serves: 2


2 tbsp light cooking oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
salt, to taste
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp tamarind concentrate
2 large fillets of any white, flaky fish (I used Tilapia), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced


Saute mustard seeds and sliced onions in hot oil till soft and lightly browned.

Add in turmeric, chilli powder, salt, chopped tomatoes, garlic and tamarind, and cook until tomatoes pulp and spices have blended in well.

Stir in fish and green peppers, and stir fry on medium heat till fish is cooked through, making sure not to break fish too much.

Serve warm.

19 Responses to “To market, to market: Tamarind Fish”

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