Fish curries have always been my Everest. It’s easy to crack a tandoori Chicken because there are a dozen recipes out there and you can always buy a powder off the shelf if you’re lazy. However, when it comes to Mangalorean fish curries, the best recipes are often locked away in tattered Konkani cookbooks or are passed on by word of mouth from mother to daughter – and there’s no bottle of ketchup to fall back on if you’ve made a mistake.
My sister didn’t seem interested in the climb, so I pulled out my hiking spatula and conquered my Everest this weekend. It’s important to note that most Mangalorean fish recipes have vinegar or Tamarind paste in them, but this one doesn’t. I’ll hopefully try a recipe with these some day.
Warm 2 tbsp of Coriander seeds, 2 tbsp Cumin seeds, 6 black peppercorns and 5 dried Kashmiri red chillies for 15 minutes in a hot pan taken off the flame.
Grind the spices into a fine powder in a dry spice grinder.
Grind the powder, a large chopped onion and 4 tbsp of water into a paste in a blender.
Bring the paste, 250ml of water, 1 de-seeded plum tomato cut into four quarters, 5 crushed cloves of Garlic, 2 sliced thumb-sized pieces of ginger, ¾ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of turmeric to a boil in a large shallow saucepan. Add extra chilli powder or salt if necessary.
Add 500g of Kingfish steaks to the curry, cook closed on a high flame for 10 minutes and on a low flame for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve the fish with a garnish of fried onions and coriander leaves.