Friday, 16 December 2011




     1)    Fresh mackerel – 500 gm.

     2)    Dry hot red chilies – 15 Nos.
     3)    Tamarind – an olive sized bit
     4)    Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
     5)    Onion – 100 gm.
     6)    Tender ginger – ½ inch piece
     7)    Hot green chilies – 2 Nos.
     8)    Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
     9)    Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoons
     10)     Black pepper corns – ¼ teaspoon
     11)     Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon
     12)     Salt – 1½ teaspoon

You can use either young mackerel or full grown mackerel. You can also use any other type of fish to make this curry.

To Cook:

     Cut off the head, the fins and scrape off the scales if any. Clean the insides but save the roe and the milt of mature fish. If the fish is small, it can be cooked as such; but bigger fish need to be cut into 2 to 5 pieces according to the size of the dish. In this case, I have used young mackerel.

     Soak the cut fish in a solution of 1 litre of water with 20 ml. of vinegar for 5 minutes. This will easily get rid of all dirt from the gut cavity as well as any fish smell. Wash in tap water, drain and put them in a bowl. Put in the salt (1/½ teaspoons). Peel the onion and the tender ginger. Chop both into super fine pieces and tip them in.

     Slit the hot green chilies and put them in too. If any roe or milt is there, tip it in as well. Mix it all with your fingers and set aside to marinate. Break the dry hot red chilies each into 2 pieces and set aside.

     Set a small pan on low heat. Pour in the coconut oil. Tip in the fenugreek seeds. As soon as the fenugreek starts to splutter, tip in the black pepper corns. Stir once and put in the coriander seeds. Stir again and tip in the broken dry hot red chilies (the chilies need to be broken because if you tip them in whole, they tend to burst). Stir till the chilies show the roasted colour and give out the roasted aroma. Switch off the heat.

     Tip over the contents of the pan into a food processor. Add the tamarind along with half a glass of water. Grind to superfine paste.

     Select a wide mouthed vessel to make the curry. Tip in the ground chili paste and a glass of water. Stir and set on high heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, tip in the marinated fish together with all the other ingredients and salt water from the bowl. Sprinkle the turmeric powder and stir with a light ladle so as not to damage the fish. Taste and add more salt or water if necessary.

     When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and cover with a lid. Let the curry rest for at least 30 minutes before use. Serve hot with a heap of freshly cooked par boiled rice.


This curry tastes even better after resting for 6 hours or more.

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