Monday, July 31, 2017

Andhra Fish Curry

After posting a photograph of me cooking fish curry yesterday, I got a lot of queries for the recipe. Not that people do not know the recipe, but many were intrigued at the colour of the curry ,  a bright red. In fact a friend of mine mistook it as crab curry from the colour of it.  And everyone knows I do not use either artificial or natural colours in the curries. 
The recipe is simple and here it is. 
I personally have a dislike for pond reared fish for two reasons. A discerning cook can easily catch the odor of rice bran , the main feed of pond reared fish, and also the fish are usually just about 2 kgs. 
So I always go for a fish close to 4 or 5 kgs.  They are usually from reservoirs, or rivers and the taste is completely different. The latest market service offering is selling live fish, with double the price. But the taste is priceless. 
All the ingredients given here are for 4 kg fish, which after processing will be about 3 kg if you retain the head as a piece or usually two. So adjust the ingredients accordingly. 

  • Clean the cut pieces of the fish thoroughly twice and once again with turmeric. Keep aside for some time to let the water drain out. 
  • Cut two large onions to small pieces, 4 green chillies either half sliced or to small pieces
  • Add a tea spoon of jeera powder to the onion pieces and mash it well with hand. 
  • Take a large fistful of tamarind and soak in the water. After  a few minutes , squish the tamarind and keep the tamarind water aside. Soak the same tamarind ball again and again and squish till you get 250 to 300 ml of tamarind water. Remove the seeds and other unwanted material from the water.
  • Add two or three tsp of salt, two tsp of red chili powder to the fish pieces, mix them well and let it marinate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • Heat an oversized pan, add 4 to 5 tsp of ground nut oil.
  • Saute the mashed onions, chilli pieces, jeera mixture for a few minutes in low flame. 
  • Add three tsp of ginger garlic paste and mix well with the onions while frying for a few seconds. 
  • HERE IS THE SECRET OF GETTING THE BRIGHT RED COLOUR TO THE CURRY. Take 3 to 4 tsp of the floating oil in the jar of the mango pickle. Add to the pan and in seconds the gravy becomes bright red. 
  • Add the fish pieces and mix well with the fried paste. The pieces will glow now with red colour. 
  • Keep mixing for 2 to three minutes till fish pieces emit vapour. Do not mix for long time lest pieces should break. 
  • Add tamarind water till pieces are at least 3/4 ths covered. Simmer it for 10 to 15 minutes with a lid covered fully.
  • Once the gravy is thick, sprinkle 3 tsp of garam masala. Do not stir the pieces with a spoon. Shake well the pan so that masala gets mixed with the gravy . Switch off the heat /burner. 
  • If you want the curry to be redder,  sprinkle one tsp of mango pickle oil on to the dish before you add masala. 
  • Voila , you have the tasty fish gravy curry. 
  • For best taste, let the curry remain in the pan for a few hours. Fish curry tastes best when the pieces marinade in their own gravy. 
Additions:
  • You can add whole ladies fingers ( I mean vegetable, not your wife's ) , chopped up a little at both ends, sliced vertically an inch or two just five minutes before the heat is turned off. 
  • You can add vertically sliced soar mango pieces a few minutes before the heat is turned off. 
Bon appetit !



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