We had our first taste of this curry during our visit to Kerala. In fact, this curry was part of our first lunch that we had in Kerala at Kannur. I do not recollect the name of the restaurant located near Kannur bus station, where we had our lunch, but it seemed to be a pretty popular food joint as it was crowded when we reached there and were lucky to find seats after few minutes of waiting time. I liked this dish in particular and when we came back to pune we tried replicating this dish in our kitchen several times. After many trials we were successful in creating the similar dish with similar taste.
There are several points about this dish that can catch one’s attention and contribute to the rich taste of this dish from Kerala cuisine. To start with fish fillets are fried and personally I have a weak spot for gravies in which meat or eggs are fried or even roasted before they are put in gravy, which explains why I put Fried egg curry, Kerala fried fish curry and Butter chicken (which has tandoori chicken) on top of my preference list. Usage of coconut milk which is very typical of Kerala (rather any coastal) cuisine gives this dish a very subtle and creamy texture and provides an enriched taste to this gravy. One more factor which is very typical of Kerala cuisine is usage of shallots (which in cities like Pune and Mumbai are known as Sambhar onions or Madras onions). They have a very sweet and pungent taste, but sometimes peeling their skins off can become a tricky and painful affair. Nobody likes to peel off skins from some 10-15 odd shallots and it needs immense patience. But the effort that you put is worth taking when we are making a dish like this.
If you like fish curries and would want to try some new recipe that is different from the usual curry that you make, this dish is worth giving a try. Make this recipe for your weekend dinner and share your comments with us.
More seafood recipes here
More Kerala recipes here
- 300 grams fish fillets cut into pieces of 2-3 inches width. We have user Surmai (Seer fish)
- 250 ml fresh coconut milk (first extract)
- 100 gram onions roughly chopped
- 15-20 curry leaves
- 4 green chilies slit lengthwise
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 inches diameter tamarind ball
- 12-15 cloves of garlic
- 2 inches ginger
- 10 shallots (chota/sambhar onions)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 4 tsp red chili powder
- Coconut Oil
- Grind masala paste for the recipe. In a grinder jar, take ginger-garlic, shallots, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili poder, 1 tsp salt. Make a fine and thick masala paste using water as needed.
- Marinade fillets with half of the masala paste. Reserve other half for gravy .
- Marinade the fillets for 30-45 mins.
- Soak tamarind ball in half cup warm water.
- After 30 mins, heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan.
- We will shallow fry fillets.
- We have allowed the underside to cook for 3 mins. Flip over to cook from other side.
- Remove the cooked fillets into a plate. Fry all the fillets in batches.
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan.
- Add mustard seeds to the pan.Add onions, green chilies and curry leaves. Fry the onions till they become tender.
- Onions become tender in 5 mins.Now add 3 tbsp tamarind pulp.Now add masala paste, salt to taste.
- Fry the masala for 5 mins.After 5 mins add fried fish.Coat the fillets nicely.
- Now add coconut milk.We will simmer for a minute and then turn off the flame.Turn off the flame. Keep the gravy covered.
- Kerala fried fish can be served with appam, parotta
Click here to watch recipe video