Along the Grapevine

Tandoori Pickerel and Curried Spring Vegetables



A dear blogger pal very kindly passed on to me some of her home-made Indian spices which I have been keen to feature with some of my own local ingredients. Although I haven’t posted many Indian recipes before on this blog,  South Asian cuisine is one of my favourites. I began to learn to cook during our two-year stint in Delhi, just before the craze for spicy Asian food hit North America in the 70s, and I have been at it ever since. It was in India where I really learned to appreciate local and fresh food, including home-ground spices which made everything from soup to nuts just so much tastier.

So when Sonal offered me some of her handiwork, I was thrilled. You can find her fabulous recipes on her blog, simplyvegetarian777 where you will discover some truly original recipes with a strong South Asian influence. Do drop by and check out her fabulous fare.

I met Sonal through The Novice Gardener’s weekly event, Fiesta Friday, so it is only fitting that I share these recipes with this week’s crowd. Our co-hosts this week are Effie @ Food and Daydreaming and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook who will be working hard to keep the party lively.

The spices Sonal sent me were a tandoori masala, a curry and Kasuri Methi, or dried fenugreek. This latter I intended to use as a garnish and then unfortunately forgot, but I did taste it and it would have made a wonderful accent for the two dishes I did make.


For the tandoori spice mix I decided to make a fish dish using local wild pickerel, but you could use any firm fish.

Tandoori Pickerel

  • Servings: 4
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1 lb pickerel filet, skinned and cut into serving portions

1 Tbsp tandoori masala

1 Tbsp sumac

1 Tbsp flour, rice, chickpea or jerusalem artichoke

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp grated garlic

1 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

3 Tbsp plain yogurt

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp salt


Mix all the ingredients except the fish in a bowl to make a paste. Coat the fish pieces with the paste and place them on a grilling pan in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Turn the pieces over and continue to cook for another five minutes or so, depending on the thickness, until the fish is cooked through.

I managed to achieve a nice red-coloured paste thanks in part to the addition of sumac which also goes well with this mixture taste-wise.



To accompany this fish I wanted to make a really green curry with ingredients all from  my garden. The scapes, garlic, mustard seed and green chili are left over from last year’s crop, but the young dandelion leaves, lily shoots, and some nettles were all picked just moments before cooking.

Curried Spring Vegetables

  • Servings: 4
  • Print


oil for frying

1 tsp mustard seed

1 green chili, seeded and chopped finely

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp curry powder

3 packed cups of mixed greens, e.g. lily shoots, scapes, dandelion greens and nettles

salt to taste

juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)


Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, lower the heat to medium and add the chili and mustard. Cook for 1 minute and then add the curry powder. Cook for another two minutes, stirring continuously. Add the washed, but not dried greens starting with the sturdier ones like scapes and shoots. When they start to turn a brighter green add the dandelion and nettles, cover and cook until they are just wilted. Remove from the heat and drizzle with lemon juice.





Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

22 thoughts on “Tandoori Pickerel and Curried Spring Vegetables

  1. Absolutely stunning! Lillies were on my must-try list this year, so thank you for the prompt!


    • Thanks Valerie. Now that I’ve tried them I wonder why I’ve never used them until recently. I hope to get at least one more recipe for them up soon.


  2. Wow toothsome curried vegetables Hilda. … love it…


  3. Yay Hilda, you’ve incorporated those spices quite beautifully – they have made a perfect meal. Sonal’s spices sure do get around don’t they? 🙂


  4. Thanks Loretta. I hope she makes a business of it. I think she has a market.


  5. I am so glad that you liked the spice mixes Hilda. Coming from you is such a big deal for me. I bet that the addition of sumac must have done wonders to the dish, by adding tartness and color. Thanks for the shout out lady! I made so many talented friends through Angie’s Fiesta Friday and it’s my pleasure to have met you ❤️🙏.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Sonal. I was hoping you would approve. It is true that Fiesta Friday has made a big difference to the support we can give each other. So glad to have met you too!


  7. Looks really nice Hilda 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I grew up eating fresh caught pickerel but never with tandoori spices. Sounds so good Hilda! Always fun to read of your adventures in the kitchen. Are you using the regular dandelion greens from the pesky weed?


  9. This is very enticing Hilda – made my mouth water. You must have had enough scapes to freeze last year? Lucky you! And pickerel – did you find that somewhere locally?


    • I did have a lot of scapes last year – and a lot of garlic. If you’d like some you are welcome to come and collect some. As for the fish, if you take the 566 Marysville exit from 401 going south, the Indian gas station/shop sells local pickerel and that’s where I usually get mine. It’s caught locally from Lake Ontario. Some of the other Deseronto shops maybe carry it too.


  10. If I was Sonal I would be very very proud of what you make with her spices, it looks super yummy, and as usual super original!


  11. Hooray for wild greens!!!


  12. How Lovely of Sonal. Looking at your photos, I could almost smell the aroma of the spices. Yummy!


  13. You’ve created some very tasty recipes with Sonal’s spices and they look like they are bursting with flavour! Thanks for sharing with FF#65.


  14. The spices sound so fun and you chose such a lovely way to showcase them! I’m also always amazed at what you’ve grow yourself and foraged – I really ought to try dandelions sometime (as those I can always find somewhere in ready supply!)


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