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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chettinad Fish Curry

A few days back, we had purchased Seer fish in a larger quantity than usual. After preparing a batch of Rawa fry on the same day, I had popped the rest into the deep freeze as I wasn't too sure of making a routine Odia style fish curry with it. The fish curries in Odisha are usually done with river fish like Rohu, Catla or Mirkali ( a golden version of Rohu ) which have a different texture and smell as compared to sea fish like the Seer fish. Hence the dilemma.

So, I ended up looking for various Seer fish preparations on the net. Quite a few of them seemed to be too spicy for our liking and I had almost resigned myself to preparing another batch of rawa fry with a little twist in the flavor. I even marinated the fish with salt, turmeric and lemon juice for the purpose of preparing a fry. Simply out of habit (though sheer boredom is more like it ), I kept surfing for curries even as the fish was being fried ( without the rawa layer which I wanted to add at a later stage ). And I stumbled upon this wonderful blog Chettinad Recipes which had the recipe for a light yet seemingly delicious fish curry. Without any deliberation, I went ahead and prepared it with the pan fried fish ( the original used raw one ) and it turned out every bit as delicious as I had envisioned it would be.

Read on for the recipe -

















Preparation Time - 35 mins

Ingredients -

For the marination -


  • 500 gm Seer fish 
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
For the curry -

  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 head of garlic ( peeled and finely chopped )
  • 2 medium size Tomatoes ( country variety is preferable )
  • 1/2 tsp Tamarind paste  ( depends on the sour content of the tomatoes/one's preference )
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 pinch fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp Fortune Vivo oil
  • salt to taste
  • chopped cilantro for the garnishing

Preparation - Wash and clean the fish. Marinate with salt, turmeric, red chili powder and lemon juice for 20 mins.

Peel and finely chop the tomatoes.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the fish pieces and fry them lightly on both sides. Remove and keep aside.

In the same wok, add the mustard, black peppercorns, cumin, fennel and fenugreek seeds. Once they crackle, add the chopped onions and garlic. Saute till the onions start to sweat. Then add the tomatoes and sprinkle a bit of slat over them. Cook till tomatoes turn mushy.

Add all the powdered spices and cook for 3-4 mins.

Add the tamarind dissolved in about 2 1/2  cups hot water. Adjust salt. Bring it to boil.

Add the fried fish and let it simmer for 15 mins. Stir 2-3 times in between to that it does not get burnt at the bottom .

Once the curry acquires the desired consistency, add the chopped cilantro and the roughly torn curry leaves.

Cover with a lid and remove from flame. Let it stand aside for sometime.

Serve at room temperature .


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