It is a Sunday today and we are trying to cope with the tremendous summer heat in Kolkata. I finally have cancelled the planned trip of today to India Restaurant as part of my food walk “ Kolkata Biriyani walk with Debjani” and which means no Biriyani for me and no biriyani for Pasta as well. Though she is not going with me during the food walk but each time I did opted for a packet of Biriyani to make her aware about the taste. However, coming to today and to be specific to lunch I opted for a southern fish curry which I find amazingly flavorful yet refreshing especially during summer; which is nothing but Malabar Fish Curry. I have been to Kerala more than 3 times and tasted the authentic Malabar Fish curry many times and apart from that given I am frequent in Chennai as well I opted for this Keralian fish curry there as well.
Given both Kerala and West Bengal are nearer to seashore, both the states have many thing common especially while considering food habit. Rice is the preferred staple and Fish is the perfect side. People from both the state love to use coconut while cooking. Malabar Fish Curry is a signature Keralian recipe where Fish chunks are cooked in gravy of Coconut and tamarind paste and tempered with curry leaves. This combination of coconut and tamarind is just perfect for a summer platter along with steamed rice. This curry is prepared by boiling fish chunks in the gravy without frying those and this is how we bongs cook Doi Maach a fish curry where non-fried fish chunks are cooked in a gravy of curd.
Today I am available with almost all the ingredients required for making Malabar fish curry that includes fresh coconut, tamarind paste, curry leaves, few spices and obviously fish. Though mostly prepared with King Fish but this curry can be prepared with any variety of big fish and I have opted for Katla Fish for this. Though Shallot or small onion is frequently used making this but I am only available with medium sized onion and hence opted for that. Last but not least, I skipped coconut oil and used refined oil for making the fish curry however to make Malabar Fish Curry requirement of Oil is really less and that actually makes this curry special and a comfort dish.
- Fish Chunks: 4-5; 100 g each (I used Katla Fish)
- Scrapped Coconut: 1.5 Cup
- Tamarind Paste: 1 Tbsp.
- Green Chili: 2-3
- Shallot or medium sized onion: 2
- Ginger Paste: ½ Tsp.
- Garlic Paste: ½ Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp. (adjust as per taste)
- Coriander Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Sugar: 1 Tsp. (completely optional; and for my bong tastebud only)
- Salt: 1 Tsp. or as per taste
- Curry Leaves: 15-20
- Mustard Seed: 1 Tsp.
- Refined oil/ Coconut Oil: 1 Tbsp.
- Wash Fish chunks under running water keep aside.
- In a grinder make a paste of fresh scrapped coconut along with Turmeric Powder by adding little water.
- When the coconut paste is prepared mix 1 cup of water with it.
- Now take Tamarind Paste in a bowl and mix with ½ cup of water and add Coriander Powder, Chili Powder and salt to it and mix properly.
- Take Coconut paste along with the water in a deep bottom pan and start cooking in medium heat.
- Add Tamarind paste mix with the spices to it and add 1 more cup of water.
- Add Onion, Ginger paste, Garlic paste and green chili and bring the curry to boil.
- Now add Sugar to it.
- When the curry start boiling add fish chunks and keep cooking in medium heat after covering with a lid for 10 minutes.
- Using a spatula turn the fished once to cook from both the side equally.
- In the meantime, heat oil in another pan and temper the oil with Mustard Seed and curry leaves.
- Add this tempering to the Fish curry and mix.
- Cook for 5 more minutes and switch the flame off.
- Serve Malabar Fish Curry with Steamed Rice and enjoy this perfect comfort Food thoroughly.
Moderate Chili according to taste
Adding Sugar is completely optional.