Sometime ago I had mentioned that I wasn't such a good cook when it came to making seafood. Somehow whatever I made didn't quite taste as good as when the hubby made it. I decided to change that for my own good and started making more curries as practice is the only thing that can help you correct your mistakes and perfect things. I have been making fish curries since the past few days with a lot of success and now I am pretty excited to try out other seafood like prawns and squid. Hopefully in the days to come I will post some prawn recipes too.
When I was hunting for some fish curry recipes in my cookbooks I realised that I had tried out pretty much every fish curry that a Mangalorean worth his/her salt needs to know. I know that there are many more dishes I need to master but those require ingredients that are currently not within my reach. I started to explore some more by flipping through my other cookbooks. Since Goan food has a lot of fans in my house I decided to try out this curry from Sanjeev Kapoor's book on Konkan Coastal cuisine and it came out pretty well.
The original recipe was to be made with pomfret but you can try it with surmai (king fish/seer fish) as well. This curry is not as spicy as I expected it to be as I had used just a few Kashmiri chillies so do use them liberally if you like the curry to be fiery and delicious. This gravy is suitable for most kinds of fish. You could even try making it with bolenjir/erli/silver fish or with mackerels/bangude/bangda. Do try it when the monsoons have fully set in the coastal parts of India. You will simply love it, I promise!
Goan Fish Curry
Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 10 mins | Serves: 4
For the masala:
- 500 grams pomfret or surmai (king fish)
- 1 medium sized onion finely chopped
- 1-2 green chillies, slit and halved
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 6 long dried red chillies (I used Kashmiri chillies) * see notes
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 2 inch piece ginger
- 12-15 small cloves of garlic
- 2 marble sized balls of tamarind * see notes
1. Wash the fish pieces with salt and allow to drain on a colander.
2. Heat a tawa/skillet and dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and red chillies. Remove and allow them to cool until the chillies turn crisp. Grind to a fine powder and then add the coconut, ginger, garlic, tamarind and a little water to and grind to a fine paste. Rinse the grinder with 1/2 cup of water and reserve it.
3. Marinate the fish pieces with half of the ground masala.
4. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till golden. Toss in the green chillies and fry for a minute and then add the remaining ground masala and fry it on a medium heat till the oil separates.
5. Add the reserved masala water and enough plain water to measure 1-1/2 cups in total. Bring the gravy to a boil.
6. When the gravy is bubbling, add the marinated fish pieces along with the masala and salt, cover the pan cook the fish on a medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and remove the pan from heat.
7. Serve hot with steamed rice
1. Kashmiri chillies are lower on spice than the Byadge (Kumti) variety however if you wish you can deseed the chillies to tone down the spice even further. You can use a blend of the two said varieties too.
2. Depending on how old the tamarind is you can use 1-2 marble sized balls. Old stock of tamarind will be very deep (almost black) in colour and will be quite sour too. If you are using fresh stock then the colour would be pale/chocolate brown and you may need to use a little more. Use your judgement to decide how much you require.
Recipe Credit: Konkan Coastal Cuisine by Sanjeev Kapoor