Sunday 16 September 2012

2nd Leg Day 27: Full Sails, a Barber Shop and Thai Fish Curry

The wind stayed constant during the night and the swells subsided sufficiently for us to put up the mainsail for the first time on this voyage. Today is the first time that we had the wind on the beam and small enough seas to enable us to use the mainsail. Much excitement on board!

We woke the skipper at 07h00 this morning to make his usual Monday morning call to the office in Cape Town. I prepared the mainsail while he was doing the administration thing with the office. Then it was time to hoist the mainsail. The boat was pointed into the wind and we started hoisting, but got some lines twisted. After these tangles and twisted lines were sorted, we hoisted and set the sails, turned back on course and voila!, we were sailing merrily along at around eight knots. The boat has a totally different motion through the water with a lot less banging of the water against the underside of the bridge. The sailing experience is all the more enjoyable.

Today I took what is probably my penultimate sextant sun sights for this voyage. I normally take two sights and plot both to get an idea of my own errors. Today the two lines of position so obtained coincided. While one may think this is good measuring practice, bear in mind that the sun moved for two minutes between the sights, so there should actually be a slight difference. In spite of this, I still have a warm feeling about these sights.

It is shower day today, so we decided to open the barber shop before we took our baths. Some idea in the back of our heads not to look like the ancient mariner or a bunch of dirty scruffy Caribbean sea gypsies, I guess. I have cropped heads before, but not on a bobbing and heaving boat. One needs to be very alert with the clipper and be sitting down when using it. We all had a turn to be cropped. The results appear to be quite presentable, despite the conditions and our level of proficiency.

Or lack thereof.

We now look like scruffy Cape Town sea gypsies that took a crop and a bath.

Today was my turn at the galley again. I made Thai fish curry with savoury rice. I used a mix of half a cup of brown and wild rice and some long grain rice. Just for the texture and to use up all the leftovers. It makes sense and is suited to the dish. Next time I shall bring basmati -, bimri - or jasmine rice or all of the aforementioned. The dish also contains some fresh garden peas. This is in lieu of some exotic Thai green stuff, whatever the description. Call it chef's license.

Thai Fish Curry with Savoury Rice


For the Fish

400 g fish fillets

1 onion, chopped

1 dessert spoon green masala (Recipe here)

1 dessert spoon masala powder

½ teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds

1 packet coconut powder

½ cup warm water for the coconut powder

1 cardamom (elachi) pod, shelled

1/4 teaspoon coriander (dhania) seeds

¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

small piece cinnamon bark

1 teaspoon gharum masala

½ teaspoon saffron essence

½ cup fresh garden peas

½ teaspoon salt

dollop of cooking oil or ghee

For the Rice

1 cup of long grain rice.

¼ cup of lentils. Texture again.

½ teaspoon aniseed seeds

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups water


Put the rice, lentils, water, aniseed and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the rice is done and all the water boiled away or absorbed. You may add a little water every now and then as required. You don't want to rinse the rice, as you will lose the aniseed.

Marinate the fish in the green masala for 20-30 minutes. Start with a dry frying pan or wok. I used a wok. Heat the wok and add the whole dry spices. Fry the dry spices until the flavour comes out, then add a dollop of cooking oil or ghee. Reduce the heat and mix the spices and oil to ensure proper flavouring of the oil. Then add the chopped onion and fry until it goes glassy. Add the dry powder masala and fry until the flavour comes out, then add the marinated fish and fry until the fish is nicely done. Add the coconut milk which you made using the cup of hot water, the coconut powder and the saffron essence. Add the garden peas. Reduce the heat and simmer for another five to ten minutes, then add the gharum masala. If you happen to have fresh coriander leaves, you can add some at this stage as a garnish. Turn off the heat and let the dish rest for ten minutes to develop flavour.

Bon appetit!

Authored by Johan Zietsman
Last updated on 2012-12-12

No comments:

Post a Comment