Fish curry is one of our favourite dishes. Back home in my hometown, we cook our own fish curry. Sometimes we buy fish curry from the stalls. The curry is ‘Mamak’ style, i.e., Indian Muslim style.
Nyonya fish curry has tamarind as well as coconut milk. The fish is usually a firm fleshed fish, and a dark flesh one as well, like mackerel, or black pomfret or Ikan Bawal. You can use other types of fish if you wish.
Last week, I came across some fresh sea bream in the supermarket and decided to buy 2 of them and made curry. You can use other types of fish; like frozen mackerel fillets which are easily obtainable from the supermarket.
Although the purist might ‘pooh-pooh’ my use of frozen fish, it is more practical. Fresh fish needs to be prepared immediately and storing them may pose a problem if you don’t cook them immediately. I am one who do not always cook what I buy immediately so frozen food is just fine. Furthermore, frozen food are always frozen in its prime freshness. Remember, Love Food Hate Waste.
Here is the recipe for fish curry ala mamak with a bit of Chinese Ingredient: the super tasty Tau Hoo Pok or Bean Curd Puff.
Note: If you do not have a blender or food processor or a pestle and mortar, you can slice the shallots and garlic and chop the ginger. I used this method in this photo-shoot.
Here is the recipe – my way!!
Serves: 4 with accompaniments
Cost : £
Time: 30 mins
2 Sea bream, about 650g to 750g- cleaned and gutted, or 4 Mackerel fillets
3 Tbsp Fish curry powder or 2 Tbsp curry powder with 1 Tbsp of coriander powder if you prefer the curry to be less hot.
3 cloves Garlic
2 cm Ginger
2 Tsp Torch Ginger paste ( from jar)
6 Ladies fingers or okra cut into 3 cm lengths
1 Onion – cut into 6 or 8 wedges
½ Egg plant – cut into 1 cm x 1 cm x 4 cm
1 large Tomato cut into 8
4 Bean Curd Puff or Tau Hoo Pok sliced into 3 pieces each (optional)
1 sprig Mint leaves
2 Tsp Tamarind concentrate mixed with 50 ml of water
200 ml Coconut milk
1 Lemon grass – use whole, the fat bulbous part only, smashed.
1 sprig Curry leaves
Spices to pop:
¼ Tsp Fennel seeds
¼ Tsp Cumin seeds
¼ Tsp Black Mustard seeds
¼ Tsp Fenugreek
1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
Salt, sugar to taste
- Put A in a food processor and blitz until fine. Add in the curry powder and some water and blitz it to get a paste.
- Heat up the oil in a pot, or wok, and throw in the spices and let it pop.
- Then add in the curry paste and fry till fragrant. Add in the lemon grass and curry leaves.
- Add in the about 200ml of hot water, the tamarind and bring to boil.
- Add in the okra, egg-plant, tau hoo pok and onion.
- Boil and add in the fish, then the tomato, and gently stir the content or swish it around. Add in the coconut milk and bring it to a quick boil. Add a bit more water if necessary to just cover the content.
- Season with salt and some sugar to balance the sourness. Adjust to suit your taste. The flavour should be sour with a balance of sweetness and saltiness.
- Garnish with mint leaves before serving.
- Serve with rice.