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Fish with Curried Yogurt Sauce

1 1/2 pounds firm white fish, such as halibut or cod
2 cups plain yogurt
1 teaspoon cardamom pods -- crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds -- crushed (or use ground cumin)
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 quarts vegetable oil -- for frying
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup fresh or dried breadcrumbs


Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste


In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and stir to mix. Taste for seasoning and refrigerate until needed.


Rinse the fish fillets in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Cut the fillets into 1/2-inch strips.


In a shallow dish, combine the yogurt, cardamon, ginger, cumin, pepper and salt. Add the fish strips to the yogurt mixture and stir to thoroughly coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 4 hours.


Heat about 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep-fryer. Put the flour in one shallow dish and season it with salt and pepper. Put the milk in a second shallow dish and the breadcrumbs in a third.


Take a strip of fish from the yogurt mixture and scrape the yogurt off with your fingers. Put the fish in the flour and turn with two forks to thoroughly coat. Shake off the excess. Dip in the milk and allow the excess milk to drip off, then coat the piece of fish with the breadcrumbs.


Fry the fish a few pieces at a time until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and keep warm in a low oven while you finish frying the fish.


Serve immediately with the curry sauce alongside.


This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.


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