Sunday, 30 October 2011




     1)    Fresh pomfret (white or grey) – 1 kg.
     2)    Coconut – 1
     3)    Medium hot green chilies – 4 Nos.
     4)    Dry hot red chilies – 10 Nos.
     5)    Medium sized onions – 2 Nos.
     6)    Ginger – 1 inch piece
     7)    Tamarind – 10 gm.
     8)    Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
     9)    Salt – 1½ teaspoons
     10)     Coconut oil – 2 tablespoons

To Cook:

          Cut the fish removing the head, tail and the fins. If it is a big pomfret, cut into pieces. Small ones can be cooked in full but you can make a couple of shallow gashes on either side for the fish to absorb the flavor of the curry. Wash thoroughly. For the final rinse, add a teaspoonful of vinegar to the water to get rid of any fishy smells and set aside. Grate the coconut.

          Set a small pan on low heat. Put in a teaspoonful of coconut oil and the red chilies. Roast on all sides for a minute and turn off the heat. Split the green chilies. Peel the onions and chop to fine pieces. Peel the ginger and chop likewise. Put the grated coconut, the roasted chilies and the tamarind in a wet grinder or in a food processor. Add a little water and grind to fine paste (the smoother the paste, the tastier will be the curry).

          Tip over the paste into a wide terracotta (baked clay) vessel. Add the chopped ginger pieces and the split green chilies together with a tablespoonful of chopped onions and the salt. Pour in 500 ml. of water. Set the vessel on high heat. Put in the turmeric powder. As soon as it comes to a boil, gently slip in the pomfrets. Cook on low heat for 2 minutes. Switch off the heat and cover with a lid.

          Set a small pan or wok on the stove. Pour in the rest of the coconut oil. Add the remaining chopped onions. Roast on medium heat until the onions turn golden brown. Now open the lid of the curry vessel and tip in the caramelized onions together with the flavor rich oil. Cover the lid again and let rest for 1 to 2 hours. The residual heat of the terracotta vessel will cook the pomfret to perfection.

          Serve hot with rice or vellappams. You will simply love this curry.


          The fish bones are picked off while eating. Indians usually cook the fish with the bones to get more flavor and also to avoid wasting the flesh.


          A new terracotta pot needs to be cured before it is used for cooking. Usually, rice stock is boiled for 1 or 2 hours a day for 2 days to cure the pot of toxins, strong odours or added colours if any. It is then washed and sun dried before use.

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