Mangalorean Fish Curry with Coconut.

This is another tasty traditional Mangalorean fish curry which goes well with fish like sardine, herring and mackeral that have a strong fishy taste. This sour and spicy preparation brings out the best flavours in this type of fish. If possible, serve hot the next day with plain rice, vegetable and pickle as flavours improve with time.
For the Fish Curry you will need:
Fish like- Mackerals/ Sardines/ Herrings- 1 kilo
Salt- 1 tsp
Vinegar- 1tbsp
Ingredients for masala: To grind finely
Kashmiri red chillies :12-13 nos
Pepper corns: 10
Whole coriander seeds : 1/2 tsp
Tumeric: 1/2 tsp
Garlic: 3 large flakes
Tamarind extract: 2tsps / or extract juice from marble size tamarind after soaking for a few minutes in 3 tbsps warm water
Dried Kokisan/ kokum leaves: 3
Coconut grated- 3 tbsps
Slicings to be added to curry:
Onions sliced: 1
Tomatoe chopped: 1/2 small
Ginger crushed: 1 inch
Green chillies slit: 3 nos
Garlic flakes sliced: 4 large.
Vinegar to taste
Salt to taste
Coconut oil/vegetable oil: 3 tsps
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
1. Clean and gut the fish. Cut fish into curry size pieces, if using sardines, leave whole. Make slits along fish body to allow flavours to penetrate. Pour 1 tbsp vinegar and sprinkle salt over fish. Rub gently into fish. Leave aside for 10 minutes. This step helps to reduce the fishy smell in the fish.
2. Grind the masala ingredients to a fine paste using 1/4 to half cup water /as required.
3. In a large thick bottomed vessel place the ground masala and add in 2 cups of masala water/ more or less as required. Bring to boil, add all the slicings, vinegar and salt to taste. Close the vessel and allow slicings to cook on medium flame for 5 minutes or more till they soften.
4. Now gently place the fish flat in the curry in a single layer, and cook covered till the fish is done (10-12 minutes) . Do not overcook the fish. The fish flesh will turn white, opaque and firm- up when cooked. Do not use a spoon to move the fish around, simply turn vessel gently in a circular motion to move curry over the fish.
5. Taste again for salt and sourness, add salt/ vinegar as required.
6. For seasoning: In a small pan heat coconut oil to smoking, add curry leaves, once leaves are fried and aromatic pour over fish curry.
Fish Curry is ready. If you can resist serve hot the next day with plain rice, vegetable and pickle.

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