There are different variants of fish curry. The dish is mostly popular in Kerala, Bangladesh and West Bengal. This one is also locally known as Malabar Matti Curry as, traditionally, it is prepared in a Matti, a clay pot. Since, this variation of fish curry originated in the tropical area, like many other of South-Indian dishes, this dish uses coconut milk.
As you can see, the use of various herbs and spices that complement each other gives this dish a complex taste. Additionally, the use of these spices in this recipe also adds delightful aroma, making the dish even more flavorful.
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- 1 Kilogram fish cut into 1" thick slices or 3-4 fish cans.
- 4 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 8 dry red chilies
- 1 teaspoon paanch phoran ( equal parts of cumin, mustard seed, fennel, fenugreek, kalonji (also called nigella seeds or black cumin))
- 10 to 12 curry leaves
- 1 large onion ground to a paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 2 large tomatoes cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 3 to 4 tablespoons coconut powder
- Walnut-sized ball of tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup of hot water
- 2 cups hot water
- Salt to taste
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, roast dry red chillies, mustard and cumin seeds until they start to release their aroma. Set aside and once they cool down, grind into a fine powder.
- In a bowl, squeeze the soaked tamarind.
- In a mixer, grind tomatoes, tamarind and coconut and set aside.
- Hear oil, and add curry leaves and paach phoran. Let them splutter.
- Add the turmeric, and right away add the onion paste, add garam masala and fry.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the tomato and fry till the oil begins to separate.
- Add 2 cups of hot water and the tamarind pulp to this masala and stir to mix well.
- Bring the gravy to a boil and then simmer.
- Gently add the fish to this gravy and cook till done.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with plain boiled rice or lemon rice.