Method Machher jol, matthi curry, meen kulambhu or fish curry is the easiest gravy to prepare. Signature fish curries from different
parts of the world, especially India, are something a foodie should try and indulge in.
Take one full coconut in order to get the best flavour, break open and scoop out the coconut pieces.
Traditionalists would scrape the coconut out which would look like dessicated coconut.
However, you could just chuck
the coconut pieces in the mixer jar, add 1/4 cup of water and grind till it becomes a thick paste.
Strain out the milk
and you would get the first batch of thick coconut milk.
Take the strained coconut fibre and transfer it to the grinding jar again with 3/4 cup of water and grind again.
Increase water accordingly.
Strain the milk out of the coconut using a strainer.
This would give you
approximately 1-1&1/2 cups of thin coconut milk.
In the same jar add half the tomato, onion, garlic, chili, coriander, and a spoon full of the ground coconut fibre to
make the base masala.
Grind it to a paste and keep aside.
The coconut fibre will thicken the masala.
Soak tamarind to extract pulp.
In a heavy bottom wok add the oil and heat.
Temper it with the curry leaves, mustard seed, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, constantly stirring it.
Add the slit green chili, remaining garlic and onion slices with a pinch of sugar and brown it.
Once brown add the remaining tomatoes and cook till mashed.
Now add the ground tomato masala and stir well, let it cook for a minute.
Add the tamarind pulp and few pieces of raw mango. Both are souring agents hence you could increase or decrease the
quantity of either or simply omit any one of the element.
Add the seasoning and mix well. Cook till you begin to see the oil on the surface. Reduce heat completely and add the
tick coconut milk first. Quickly stir followed by the thinner milk.
Stir it well and slowly slide in the fish pieces.
Gently stir and cover with lid leaving a small portion open else the gravy would boil and spill over.
Cook on medium heat for about 7-8 minutes or till the curry comes to boil.
Remove from heat and let it rest for 5-8 minute, serve with steaming rice garnished with coriander and accompaniments of
1) Make sure you buy fish that`s fresh i.e. it should not have the fish stench.
2) Do not throw away the head of the fish as it imparts most of the flavour to the curry.
3) Most fish gravies do not require fennel, cumin and coriander powder so they can be omitted.
4) In eastern states like Calcutta mustard oil is used to make fish curries and it adds a distinct flavour to the dish.
However, due to its dense flavour it`s best you use very little amount of mustard oil to start with. In southern states of
India, like Kerala, coconut oil is used and that changes the taste of the curry completely.
5) Most of the time, fish curry tastes better the next day as the sour ingredients and seasoning begin to settle.
Ingredients: Mustard oil- 10 ml (optional)
Vegetable oil- 20 ml
Seer Fish- 1 kg (or any fish with less bones of your choice)
Raw mango- 1/2 cup ( cut & diced) (optional)
Tamarind- a small ball
Onion- 2-3 ( fine sliced or chopped)
Tomato- 2-3 ( diced or blended in a grinder)
Coconut milk- 1 cup (thick)
Coconut milk- 1 cup (thin)