India is renowned for its fish delicacies all over the world with its lip-smacking curries, tikkas, tandoori fish and many more. This is one such luscious fish curry redolent with freshly ground spices and herbs.
Cooking fish can be a daunting task for amateurs. Even in professional kitchens it is regarded with some apprehension. People avoid cooking fish for lots of reasons, including the irrational fear that it will stink up the house.
But the main reason people don’t cook fish is because they don’t know how. There’s something to that. A steak or a fillet of fish, unlike a piece of meat, is delicate. But that doesn’t mean it’s not doable. As ever, a little care and simplicity are key.
Today I’m going to share with you a family recipe, South Indian Spicy Masala Fish Curry, which is a complete contrast to the traditional tangy fish curry. Though the curry tastes best with fresh or live fish, using fillets to cook the curry will definitely not disappoint you.
6 Fish steaks, cleaned and cut to required size
1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ inch ginger
6 garlic pods
1-centimeter cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
¼ cup hot water for grinding
2 tablespoons vegetable Oil
1-cenimeter cinnamon stick
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 green chilies, finely chopped, divided
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
a sprig of Curry leaves
1 teaspoon of red chilli powder (adjust to suit your spice tolerance)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder (optional)
½ cup finely chopped coriander
Marinate fish steaks with ingredients under the list “To marinate” and set it aside for about 20 minutes.
In the mean time grind the ingredients under the list “To grind” in a mixer to a fine paste using hot water.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and season with cinnamon and cloves. Stir for a minute until you smell the aroma of the spices.
Add chopped onions, green chillies and sauté till they turn slightly brown in colour.
Add chopped chives, curry leaves and stir for a minute.
Add marinated fish steaks and stir for 2 minutes. To stir grasp the pot by the handles and swivel the pan.
Add some coriander, ground masala paste, remaining chilli powder and turmeric powder. Sauté till the raw smell strips off. This may take about 3 to 5 minutes.
Now add required water till the fish immerses and adjust salt. You can adjust the consistency of the gravy to suit your requirement (The gravy for this recipe shouldn’t be too loose).
Close the lid of the pan and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes with gentle frequent stirring.
Simmer for 2 minutes till oil separates and turn off the heat.
Finally sprinkle garam masala powder(optional) and garnish with coriander.
This curry tastes best when served with plain rice, any pulao, or Indian bread.
Fish is very delicate hence handle with utmost care while cooking. To stir, grasp the pot by the handles and swivel the pan.
Adjust spice levels to suit your taste.
Using hot water to grind the paste will aid easy grinding of poppy seeds.
For vegetarians- You can use the same process to make delicious veggie gravies, just substitute fish with any of your favourite vegetables.