Friday, October 10, 2014

Mangalorean Fish Curry ( Fish in a coriander-cumin flavored coconut sauce)


I love fish. Given a choice between chicken and fish I will always go for the fish. I like fried fish better than the curried one but I could never say no to the sauce from the fish curry with some rice! Mmmmm heaven on earth! The sauce tastes even better the next day! After the nine-day fasting recently, the first thing I craved for was fish!! Luckily for me, I have a Chinese supermarket that sells fresh fish two blocks away from me! Then why is it that I don't make fish that often?? Well, I predominantly eat vegetarian meals and eat non-vegetarian once in a while when I crave for it. Anyways, this particular fish market also sells live fish. They have a range from live Tilapia to Buffalo fish to carp and even catfish! I decided to buy live Tilapia. This is the first time I am buying live fish! Why?? I don't know why I never bought live fish before! However I do know that I would bring it more often in the future. The fresh fish was so devoid of the "fishy" smell that you couldn't tell that I was cooking/ cooked fish! The fish was firm, nice and fresh. The bland Tilapia perfectly complimented the spicy coconut sauce.

Servings: 3-4


Tilapia fish: 1 medium sized, cut into medium-sized slices( any fish that is cut into medium slices can be used).
Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Dried Red chillies: 4
Coriander seeds:1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Black pepper corns:1/2 tsp
Methi seeds ( fenugreek): 1/8 tsp
Tamarind: marble size if using dried, 1/4 tsp if using the pulp.
Onion: 1 medium, chopped fine
Garlic: 2-3 small cloves, diced
Ginger: 1 inch, minced
Green chillies: 2-3, slit lengthwise
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Water: 1 cup + as needed for grinding the paste.


Clean the fish thoroughly, marinate with salt and turmeric powder for 15-20 minutes.

Grind the coconut with coriander seeds, jeera, pepper corns, methi seeds, red chillies, tamarind and little water to a fine paste in a blender. Keep aside.

Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a pot.Add the chopped onions and garlic, saute until they turn transparent. 

Now add the green chillies, ginger, the ground masala( paste), salt and one cup water and bring it to a boil. 

Add the marinated fish slices to it, cover and cook on medium heat until the fish is tender( around 8-10 minutes depending on the fish).

Serve hot with steamed rice/ bread/ flat bread.

Enjoy! I am bringing this taste of Mangalore to my friends at Fiesta Friday! Hilda and Julianna are the co-hosts!

Cooking made easy:

You could make the above dish using powdered spices like coriander powder, cumin powder etc instead of whole and use coconut milk instead of grated coconut. It would be much quicker and easier and you would have no grinding to do!

Tip for healthy living:

While buying fish avoid buying big fish. It is better to buy small fish. Why? For fear of mercury in fish. Big fish tend to have a higher proportion of mercury accumulation in them than the smaller fish.You can find a full list of fish and the associated mercury content here. It is also better to buy wild-caught fish than farm-raised fish. Farm raised fish have been found to contain several harmful chemicals in them including PCBs.


Food for thought:

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. Twyla Tharp