crispy curry fish
from mark bittman

1 ½ to 2 lbs skinless cod fillets
1 TB vinegar
salt to taste
½ ts fresh ground black pepper
1 ts ground turmeric
2 ts curry powder or garam masala
¼ ts cayenne pepper (optional)
peanut oil or vegetable oil (for frying)
2 cups flour
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 lime wedges

Heat oven to 200°F. Place oven proof platter in it. Toss fish with vinegar.
Combine salt, pepper, turmeric, curry powder and cayenne pepper in small bowl, then rub mixture onto both sides of each fillet.
Pour at least 1/8" oil into large nonstick skillet.
Turn heat to medium high.
Combine flour with enough warm water to make a batter about as thick as yogurt.
Test oil to see if it's hot enough (a piece of flour will sizzle in it).
Turn heat to high. Dunk fillets into batter one at a time, letting excess batter run off, then place fish in pan. Please do not overcrowd.
Fry fish, rotating as necessary so filets brown evenly.
Remove fish when golden and crisp on each side for 5 to 15 minutes.
Keep warm on platter in oven while you cook remaining fillets.
Sprinkle cilantro over fish. Serve with lime wedges.

peanut sauce

3 small dried red chiles (Thai or piquin)
3 garlic cloves
2 shallots, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, peeled, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon peanut oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts or crunchy peanut butter

Combine the chiles, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and turmeric in a food processor and grind and until fairly smooth; scrape down the sides of the machine once or twice if necessary.
Put the oil in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the chile-garlic mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Taste and add a sprinkle of salt or a little more soy sauce if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week (warm gently over very low heat or in a microwave before using). Makes about 2 cups.
<strong>For curry peanut sauce</strong>. Another layer of flavor: Omit the chiles, lemongrass, and turmeric. Instead, put one 2-inch piece of fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons of curry powder or curry paste in the food processor along with the shallots.