Perfection in cooking seafoods , I believe, is the most toughest to achieve among all other non-vegetarian dishes. My grandma and my aunt who stayed next to me during my initial days of cooking taught me to cook this simple fish curry with all their efforts.lol.. It came perfect when they guided me then and there, but flopped again when made alone. After many trials and errors, I learnt this and thanks to my blogging that I finally jotted down the exact recipe.
When I was in my 1st Bcom, I had to cook lunch at home as my mom was in India busy with my sisters wedding. My uncle showed me to prepare fish curry and I asked him why didn't he add rice water to the curry. He laughed at me saying 'rice water?' .. I said 'yeah.. mom does so'.. He was not ready to accept the fact that rice water goes into the making of fish curry. He then told my dad about this and my dad started laughing too. I was pretty sure about that but both of them couldn't accept it. After a few days when my mom came back I told about this and she said 'why did you tell them? This is kept as a secret among ladies and no men or outsiders know about this. We add rice to the grinder hiding our sister-in-laws also. ' I started noticing this after that and what I found was really interesting. My aunts and all after adding spices to the machine , say something and all to their sis in laws so that their attention diverts and by that time they added rice to the machine... lol.. I don't know why they have to keep this secret. But anyways, I have never seen rice water added to the curries except in some regions of Kannur.
This is a very simple curry, made on a daily basis which could be served with plain dosas, appams, rice etc. The flavour of the curry varies with the fish we use; whether king fish, pomfret, small fishes etc.; any fish could be made with this recipe
Fish 1/2 kg
Onion sliced 3 tbsp
Ginger crushed 1 tsp
Fenugreek/uluva 1 tsp
Green chilli 1
Tomato , chopped 1/2 of a medium sized
Red chilli powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Cooked parboiled rice 3 tbsp
Water 1 1/2 cups
Tamarind 1 small ball
Curry leaves few
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1. Keep everything ready beforehand as you don't get time to do it in between. Slice onions, crush ginger, chop tomato,clean fish , soak tamarind in 4-5 tbsp of water etc.
2.Grind cooked rice with water and spice powders in a blender.
3. Heat oil in a chatti (curry pot) and add 2-3 slices of onion and fry until it turns brown.
4. Add fenugreek and ginger; saute for a few seconds.
5. Throw in green chilli , tomatoes ; saute again for 20-30 seconds.
6. Pour the blended juice of rice and powders to this. Let this boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
7. Add tamarind juice to it.
8. When it boils, keep the flame high and add fish to it. Let it boil again and then add salt.
9. Keep the flame low and let it simmer ,covered, for 10-15 minutes or until the fish cooks. Do not stir with spoon. Rotate the pan in between. Add curry leaves to this, close the lid and then switch off flame. Let it remain for a minimum of 5 minutes before opening the lid.