Have you ever tried Malabar fish roast? I’m talking about the fabulous, addicting, and not-so spicy fish curry that originated in the northern parts of Kerala.
Seriously, how many Indian fish curries are you familiar with? The list is endless, right? Honestly, I’ve so many favorites including this Kerala fish curry, and this Chettinad fish fry, and many many more.
When it comes to everyday cooking, I stick to simple and easy recipes. However, the food blogger in me always tend to explore all sorts of recipes that I come across. Some of them eventually turn into family favorites.
This Malabar fish roast is one such family favorite which has become a regular in our household. Try this just once and you’ll find out why.
This fish curry is a ‘must’ addition to your recipe box.
The first step in making this curry is preparing the marinade for fish. Make a smooth paste using 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, red chili powder, enough salt and water. Rub this paste onto the fish pieces. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Now to fry the fish, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Place the fish pieces in it. (see the above picture).
Fry both sides. Set aside.
Now we can make the fish roast. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan (preferably a claypot). Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Allow to pop. Fry onions until browned. Add curry leaves and green chilies (if using). Mix well. Fry for few seconds.
Add ginger and garlic. Fry for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, ground coriander, red chili powder, ground black pepper and asafoetida. Mix well. Fry for a minute.
Add tomatoes, and fry until they become mushy. Strain tamarind and add the pulp to the curry. Discard the hard bits. Mix well. Add enough water. Mix well. Add fish pieces. Give it a very gentle stir. Cover with a lid. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar. Simmer for a minute or two. Add coconut milk. Heat through. Remove from flame.
- 500g fish, cut into small pieces
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 small lemon sized tamarind, soaked in ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 2 green chilies, cut in halves (optional)
- 5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cm fresh ginger, crushed
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2-3 tsp red chili powder depending on your taste
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 2 medium tomatoes sliced, or ¾ cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- Combine together ½ tsp ground turmeric, red chili powder and enough salt in a small bowl. Add a little water to make a smooth paste. Rub the marinade onto the fish pieces and marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add fish pieces. When one side is brown and cooked, flip over to the other side and cook again. Drain on an absorbent towel. (Fry fish in batches if needed)
- Add the remaining oil into the pan, and splutter mustard, fenugreek, and cumin seeds. Add onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Add green chillies (if using), and curry leaves.
- Add ginger and garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Add asafoetida, ½ tsp ground turmeric, ground coriander, and red chili powder. Saute for a few seconds, and season with ground black pepper.
- Stir in tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until mushy. When oil separates, squeeze out the pulp from tamarind and add it to the curry. Add enough water to make a thick sauce. At this stage, add fish, cover it with lid and cook. When the fish is cooked, check the seasonings and add vinegar. Allow the fish curry to boil. Add coconut milk and remove from flame. Serve hot.
Like this Malabar fish roast? Then check out these fish curry recipes: