I’ve always enjoyed curry cascadura and dumpling. Writing this post brings back some childhood memories. As a boy, I could remember going to San Juan Market with my father early in the morning and I would see the different stalls some with vegetables, others with provision and some with all types of fish. Of course, there would always be an Indian person with some strange prehistoric looking fish that don’t seem to die easily because they would still be jumping up in the box. Later on I learnt that they were called“Cascadoo”. And the only way you could really enjoy this fish was in a good curry with either rice or dumplings. Kinda reminds me of Conchs!
Curry Cascadura and Dumpling Recipe
Here in Trinidad the Cascadoo (Cascadura or Hoplosternum littorale) also has a legend attached to it. It goes like this…
“Anyone who eats the cascadura, wheresoever they may wander, shall end their days in Trinidad.”
Well I can certainly say that I will surely be ending my days in Trinidad, because I have eaten this fish a few times already :-). Even writing this, brings back memories of reading Trinidad born author Samuel Selvon’s stories: “Those who eat the Cascadura” (1972) and “Johnson and the Cascadura” (1957) that has immortalised the legend for ages to come. Strange though, it is only now that I have truly come to appreciate all those long hours, doing Literature at Secondary school, studying the local writers such as Samuel Selvon, Earl Lovelace, Michael Anthony and V.S Naipaul.
Other names for the cascadura are the Brown Hoplo or the armoured catfish. For more information you can visit these links below.
Well, enough reminiscing for one day! Today, I present to you the best way I know to eat Cascadoo, i.e. curried with dumpling. If you do make this dish remember the legend as you eat it; who knows,….you might just end up in Trinidad some day.
CURRY CASCADURA AND DUMPLING
8-10 Cascadura fishes
1 tbsp. curry
2 tsp amchar masala
3 medium-sized tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
10 leaves chadon beni
1 small onion
1 pimento pepper
For curry stew:
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. onion
1 tbsp. garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop finely the garlic, onion, pimento, and chadon beni. In a small bowl mix the chopped ingredients and add seasoning mixture. See green seasoning. Mix the seasoned mixture with the curry and masala.
Dice the tomatoes . Mix the chopped tomatoes and the seasoning. This is your stuffing for the fish.
Clean the cascadoo. Stuff the fish with the tomato and seasonings mixture.
Heat oil in a heavy sauce pan, add onion and garlic and cook slowly until yellow. Mix the curry in a little bit of water and add to the heated oil. Cook slowly. Then add the fish.
Stir until coated with curry. Add a little water to the curry.
Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not let it dry down. (The Curry Cascadura is now done).
Knead dough for dumpling. Roll out and shape. Place dumpling to boil in hot water until it floats to the surface.
These dumplings are ready to be served with the cascadura.
Curry Cascadura and dumpling.
Delicious!!N.B. The plate – like scales are best removed using a spoon, by starting at the tail and drawing it to the head. Hope you enjoyed the post. Bye!
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