FISH CURRY WITH COCONUT MILK
Fish curry is very good the next day. An Indian friend of mine describes day-old fish curry as “heaven on earth” when eaten with “Old” Rice and yogurt.
3 tablespoons oil
2 cups (500 ml) coconut milk
¼-½ cup (65-125 ml) tamarind water
Salt to taste
1 lb (500 g) large fish fillets (ling, Spanish mackerel, snapper or salmon), cut into chunks
1 teaspoon brown mustard seed
1 stalk fresh curry leaves or 6 dried curry leaves
½ teaspoon fenugreek seed
2 medium-sized onions, cut in half across and then finely sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons coriander seed or 1¾ tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoons cumin seed or ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon peppercorns or ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
10-20 medium-length dried chilies, seeded, soaked in warm water until soft and squeezed dry
2-in (5-cm) piece fresh root, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
If using whole spices for the Spice Paste, grind them to a powder, then add the remaining Spiced Paste ingredients and grind to a paste, adding a little water if necessary.
To prepare the Tempering ingredients, heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seed, curry leaves, fenugreek and onions and fry until the seeds pop and the onions are golden. Add the Spice Paste and fry until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, tamarind water and salt to taste. Stir well and simmer for a minute or two, then add the fish. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and keep simmering until the fish is cooked and the gravy has reduces and thickened a little, its oil floating on top.