Dont we all have memories of food we have eaten in our childhood? This fish curry was taught to me by my nanny Rosy who hailed from Mangalore. Now I do not know if its a typical mangaloren fish curry but its the way she taught me to make it. it is very spicy but that can be ammended by adding less of red chillies. Rosys fish cury was also of a ligher consistency, but that also is ones choice. More water can be added to make a less thicker curry.
Now we come to the topic of which fish is best for a curry? The choices are many, slices of hake, monkfish, swordfish , nileperch etc. In India pomfret is widely used. I prefer a fish without bones or skin, just makes it easy to eat specially at parties. So…now the much awaited recipe…
SERVES 6 HUNGRY CURRY LOVERS
1 kilo of boneless fresh fish, i used nile perch
1 large onion, cubed
10 flakes of garlic
2 inch piece ginger
10 red chillies, i used the birds eye variety
6 tablespoons of tamarind puree
2 cups of coconut milk
water as needed
salt as needed
10 curry leaves
1 cup of chopped coriander leaves
2 inches piece of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
4 tablespoons of lemon juice and a sprinkle of turmeric powder and salt to marinate fish
6 tablespoons of oil
Wash fish well. Apply salt lemon juice and turmeric powder and refrigerate while you make the curry.
In a blender ( i use my MAGIC BULLET) put the cinnamon, cloves and red chillies. Powder it and be careful while you open it, its quite a strong spice blend believe me! Keep this aside and put the onions, ginger and garlic in the blender and make a paste without water. Heat the oil in a good non stick wok and then add the ground paste and cook it with the curry leaves for about 10 minutes. I am often asked how to judge if the onion paste is cooked¿? Well it should first lose its raw smell and then you should see the oil separating from the paste. If the paste burns at the bottom , you are using the wrong pan. Please start all over again with a better pan. A burnt paste tastes bitter and gives the curry a dark color. Once your paste is cooked add the ground spice and cook for no less than 15 minutes. Add the fish and just shake the pan. Do not use a spoon else fish will break. Be gentle! Add the tamarind puree , turmeric, salt and then the coconut milk. Cover the pan and let the fish cook on slow heat. Once the fish is cooked, this takes about 6-10 minutes add some water as per consistency of the curry. Bring to a gentle boil. Taste and correct seasoning. Best eaten with white rice.
NITU DIDIS TIPS:
This recipe can be made with tofu, vegetables or prawns. The vegetables can be pre steamed and added to the curry. Vegetable stock can be used instead of water.
Happy happy cooking!!!
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