In Kerala, fish curry is really spicy reddish curry with only less than 10 ingredients. It is a simple to make dish, yet so tasty. It is quite spicy but you can adjust the spice level based on your palate. There are different versions of fish curry, some made with coconut, some with onions etc. This version is something I learned from my mother. It is quick to make, doesn’t take too many ingredients and is delicious.
2 fillets of fish (I used Tilapia)
3 tbsp of minced ginger
3 tbsp of minced garlic
2 tbsp of oil
3 tbsp of red chili powder
1/2 tbsp of turmeric powder
Coconut oil for garnish
Handful of curry leaves
Salt to taste
Few meen pulli or kundam pulli (This is a tamarind type sour fruit available in Kerala, India. I really haven’t seen it elsewhere. You can always substitute with regular tamarind paste – 2 tbsp)
1. This dish is typically prepared in mud pots. But since I do not have one, I use a copper bottomed SS (stainless steel) saucepan. Heat the oil on medium and add the ginger and garlic. Saute till the raw smell is gone.
2. Next add the red chili powder and turmeric powder and saute till its raw smell is gone. Be careful with this step as you do not want to burn the red chili powder.
3. I cubed my fish and added to the mixture. Add water till the fish is just submerged. Add salt.
4. Add the curry leaves and the meen pulli. Stir so that everything is combined. Bring the curry to a boil and allow it to simmer covered on low until the fish is cooked and the oil separates on the top (approximately 30 minutes).
5. Garnish with few dashes of coconut oil and the dish is done. Enjoy it as side dish with white steamed rice or with chappatis.