Friday, 5 April 2013

Kerala Style Fish Curry In Thick Coconut Gravy

There are umpteen ways to cook Kerala style fish curry. In different colours of red, yellow, orange, maroon, light brown, dark brown, fish curries with coconut, without coconut, with coriander powder, without coriander powder, with gambooge, tamarind, and the list goes on and on....

My Grand Mom cooks at least 20 varieties of fish curry. With the list mentioned above u can understand, it is not an exaggeration. I feel, you can experiment with wide varieties of ingredients. But to make an authentic Kerala style fish curry, you must always have the three key ingredients- Kudampuli (Gambooge), Shallot and coconut oil.

If I have fish curry for rice, my mom says, I can have a para of rice. Para is a vessel used to measure grains in old days. I must say my fish consumption became almost nil post marriage. Arun is not a fan of fish curry and rice. He prefers pulissery to fish curry. Among non veg, he like chicken and beef. So, I dont have an option to choose fish while I go to super market. These days am convincing him the nutritiousness of fish so much that he too began liking for fish. :-) I have experimented with different varieties of fish curry to meet his expectation and win his taste. But never reached his standard and expectation but I bowled him clean with this fish curry.

The one am sharing now is one of ma grandma's special fish curries. It goes well with rice, chapati etc.

Fish : 250 gm
Shallot : 12 nos.
Garlic : 12 nos.
Ginger : 1'' piece 
Green chilli : 2 nos.
Tomato : 1, chopped
Grated coconut : 1/2 cup
Chilly powder : 1.5 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/2tsp
Gambooge/Kudampuli : 3 no.
Water : 1.5 cup
Curry leaves : 2 sprig
Coconut oil : To saute
Fenugreek seeds : 1/4 tsp
Salt : To taste
Soak gambooge in 1/4 cup of luke warm water.
Grind turmeric powder and chilli powder with 5 tbsp of water to get a thick paste.
Pulse shallot, ginger,garlic and green chilli in blender.
In a curry chatty (Clay pot) / kadai, heat oil, add fenugreek and wait till it changes colour.
Saute pulsed shallot, ginger, garlic, green chillies and a sprig of curry leaves till it changes the colour and you get a nice aroma.
Add the ground paste and stir well till you don't feel the raw smell of powders.
Add chopped tomato and stir for 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water and salt. As it starts boiling add coconut paste. Stir well.
When it starts boiling, add the gambooge and fish pieces, one by one. Lower the flame and cover it.
Do not stir from now. Just swirl the pot in between to prevent scorching.
Wait till the fish is cooked.
Turn off the flame. Drizzle some coconut oil and curry leaves for aroma. Cover with a lid to lock the smell.


While boiling when you see a thin layer of oil over the fish you get to know that fish is cooked enough. 
I used catla fish. You can use the one you prefer.
Please do not substitute gambooge, coconut oil and shallot with alternatives. This is the best for Kerala preparation. 

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