- 1 pound approx 500 gms(16 oz) fish cut into 1 inch pieces (I used skinless mahi)
- 3 tablespoons oil Coconut oil preferred, but any other oil is just fine
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek / methi seeds
- 1/3 cup shallots or onions lightly crushed
- 9-10 garlic cloves crushed
- 4 inch ginger crushed
- 3 sprig curry leaves
- 5 green chillies slit
- 3 teaspoons paprika or red chilly powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala Recipe
- 3 small kudampuli or gambooge a type of tamarind
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons chilly powder/paprika
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Wash and drain the fish. Apply the marinade and keep aside for about 30 minutes. Wash and soak gambooge in 1 cup of warm water. You can also puree ginger and garlic into a coarse paste or finely chop them instead of crushing them. Please use fresh ginger and garlic instead of store brought ginger garlic paste.
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds. Once it pops, add fenugreek seeds. Add crushed onions + crushed ginger garlic + green chillies + curry leaves and saute till everything is soft and translucent. Add paprika/chilly powder + coriander powder + garam masala and sauté well till the oil can be seen on top. If the spices start to burn sprinkle some water.
Add water along with the gambooge and salt. Bring this to boil. Now arrange the fish pieces in a single layer. Do not stir once the fish is in the gravy or the pieces will break. To check if the fish is cooked carefully with a spoon lift a fish from the side and check if the inside is white and not pink. Reduce the heat to medium low and let this simmer for 15-20 minutes depending on how thick you want the gravy. (If you let the curry stand for few hours the gravy will get absorbed into the fish, so consider little more gravy than you need when you turn off the heat.)
Gambooge: Although the traditional requirement is gambooge this can be substituted for 1/8 cup of tamarind. I haven't seen gambooge in Indian stores but you can get this from kerala stores or if you know someone from kerala I hope they would be happy to share it with you.
If there is absolutely no way of finding curry leaves, you can add cilantro leaves before serving.
The longer the curry stays the better the flavor is absorbed into the fish. Let it stand for 2-3 hours before serving and serve this at room temperature.
Using skinless firm fish steaks like salmon, king fish, mahi mahi are ideal for this curry. Moreover you don't have to worry about cleaning.
Cleaning the fish: 1st remove the scales by moving a knife vertically on the fish. Cut the fins to remove any slimy portions. Now rub salt and fresh lime juice generously on the fish. Wash and drain.
I use mild chilly powder. So adjust it as per your preference. If the curry turns out too spicy, you can add some coconut milk, just bring it to a simmer and remove the pan from the heat immediately.