Monday, 27 February 2012



     1)    Kingfish slices or fillets – 600 gm.
     2)    Birinde (dried peel of cocum fruit of a type of Garcinia tree that grows along the west coast of Karnataka and Goa, India) – 50 gm.
Soaked dried cocum rind (birinde)

     3)    Hot red chili powder – 7 teaspoons
     4)    Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
     5)    Onion – 200 gm.
     6)    Ginger – 1 inch piece
     7)    Curry leaves – 3 sprigs
     8)    Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
     9)    Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
     10)     Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon
     11)     Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
     12)     Salt – 2½ teaspoons

To Cook:

          Soak the birinde in 200 ml. of water for an hour. Wash the kingfish slices or fillets in a solution of 15 ml. of vinegar in a litre of water. This will make the fish extra clean. Now rinse the fish in 2 or 3 changes of clear water. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl.

          Tip in 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and the turmeric powder. Mix nicely with your fingers and set aside. Peel the ginger and the onion. Chop the ginger to fine bits. Chop the onion roughly lengthwise to pieces. Tip in the bits of ginger together with the onion pieces into the mixing bowl and mix them nicely with the fish. Cover the bowl and keep it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate nicely.

          Meanwhile, squeeze the soaked birinde nicely in its water in order to diffuse its bright scarlet colour, its super tanginess and its flavor into the water. Sieve and set aside the juice. Pluck the curry leaves from their sprigs and set aside.

          Once the 30 minutes are up, take out the fish from the fridge. Set a flat curry vessel on high heat. Pour in the coconut oil. Throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as they are about to finish popping (unpopped mustard seeds have a bitter taste), tip in the fenugreek seeds. Stir twice and tip in the curry leaves. Stir once and tip in the rest of the chili powder (5 teaspoons). Lower the heat to minimum.

          Stir thrice and tip in the coriander powder. Stir twice and pour in the birinde juice. Add 300 ml. of water and tip in the rest of the salt (1½ teaspoons). Turn up the heat. Stir and taste. Add a bit more salt if required. As soon as it comes to a boil, tip in the marinated fish together with the onion and ginger pieces and any juice that may have oozed out.

          Stir gently. As it boils nicely again, the flesh of the fish will turn opaque and whitish, which means that it is cooked. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Let the curry rest for at least 2 hours (the more it rests, the better it tastes).

          Serve with soft par boiled rice. Enjoy and know what enjoyment really means!!!

     1)    Do not use shellfish or sardines to make this curry. If kingfish is not available, you can use any other fish which can be sliced or filleted to make this wonderful curry.

     2)    Persons who are not medically allowed to take too much chilies, salt or sour ingredients in their diet can reduce the quantities specified to suit their needs.

     3)    Birinde is rich in iron and vitamins and is far better for health than tamarind and is much tastier too. It is also more colorful.

     4)    This special curry can be reheated and used over a period of 2 or 3 days (only, of course, if you prepare more!).

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