Ok...I know, I know..the post title looks weird, but I promise you, I have a really good reason for that. This particular fish curry was born in "Malabar", a district in Kerala, specifically in a place called "Ponnani". Th reason I call this almost oil free is because, the making involves absolutely no oil. However, the final tempering process does involve a bit of oil as you will see in the Method below. Whatever the case, it's a really simple curry to make, and tastes awesome too, especially the next day, since it contains tamarind. However, I would recommend not keeping it for more than 2 days since it does contain coconut milk. Then again, I don't think the curry will last 2 days..he he! I got this recipe from "Mazhavil manorama" and the aunty who prepared it was Sushama aunty. So aunty, if at all you are reading this, this one's for you!
- 1 kilo fish- I used Salmon, but you can also use Black Pomfret, Kingfish, Trout or any other fleshy fish
- 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped finely
- 5 garlic pods, chopped finely
- 12 shallots, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons red chilly powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Tamarind, the size of a small lemon, soaked in 1/2 a cup of warm water (Valan puli)
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (perinjeerakam)- optional
- Few curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Few curry leaves
- 5-6 shallots chopped finely
- Make a paste of the chilly, coriander and turmeric powders and set aside.
- Before placing the saucepan on the stove, add the ginger, garlic, the curry paste, few curry leaves, the tamarind pulp, the fish fillets and the salt to taste.
- Pour a little water in the bowl containing the curry paste and add this to the pan so as not to waste any of the paste.
- Place this on the stove, and wait for it to boil properly, before reducing the flame and cooking it for 10-12 minutes on a low flame.
- Grind the shallots with a few curry leaves coarsely using a mortar and pestle or a grinder. It need not be a fine paste.
- Mix the above mixture with the coconut milk and add to the curry. Once coconut milk, the curry should not boil, it should just become warm.
- Check for salt levels.
- Meanwhile, in a frying pan, add the ingredients under "Tempering" and fry till shallots turn brown.
- Add this to the curry as a garnish. You can also mix this in slightly as it gives more flavour to the curry.