Keralan Style Fish

I really really enjoyed this! I was very surprised just how much! It’s amazing how something so simple could create a flavour so utterly satisfying. The spice is there, but it leads to a delicious, slightly sour fragrance of the sparse sauce. It’s not a typical fish curry. There’s hardly any gravy, but what little there is, is incredible. Top tea!

Spice Paste:
1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt

Other Ingredients:
3 tablespoons corn oil
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
10 fresh curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 white fish fillets (kingfish, swordfish etc).
1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp (diluted with 4 tablespoons water)

To make the spice paste, grind everything together into a smooth paste in a pestle & mortar or in a food processor. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok until hot. Turn down the heat to low then drop in the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves and let them sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the spice paste and let it gently cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the tamarind paste and 100ml water and let it come to a simmer.

Slice the fish fillets diagonally about half way through the flesh without cutting right through. Sprinkle over the turmeric. Add the fish to the sauce, spoon a little over then cover the pan and simmer very gently for 5 minutes. Turn the fish over then cook for a further 5-6 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Add a little water, a tablespoon at a time if the sauce dries up.

Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Sprinkle over some chopped red chillies and serve alongside fluffy basmati rice.

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