Whenever I make a good dish, it is truly a test on my patience. The very smell and taste of the dish while it gets prepared lures me and I am eager to get to the meal. I convince myself that I can snap photos later for the recipe. I call my hubby and we relish the dish. It is only when I am back to my senses after a filling meal, I realize that there is very little of the dish remaining to snap pictures.
Here is one such curry which is irresistible in every way. Thenga Aracha Meen Curry is enough for me to enjoy rice or Chappatis. I don’t care for any other side dish when I have this wonderful Fish Curry simmered in Coconut Paste. This photo was taken with the last few pieces of fish and gravy!
I made this Fish Curry using Salmon and it tasted heavenly. I have a love-hate relationship with Salmon. I remember how aweful I felt after taking a bite of my first Salmon burger. I swore that I would never try Salmon again. However, my relatives often made Kerala Style Fish Curry with Salmon and I didn’t mind it. I gathered my courage and decided to make Salmon Curry. Now we buy salmon regularly and we make it this way.
- Salmon or any other Fish Fillets – 1 lb (1/2 kg approx)
- Sliced Shallots (Kunjulli) – 1/4 cup
- Minced Ginger – 1.5 tbsp
- Minced Garlic – 1.5 tbsp
- Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
- Fish Tamarind (Kudampulli) – 3 medium pieces
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Fish Masala Powder – 1 tbsp
- Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder -1 tsp
- Fenugreek (Uluva) Powder – a pinch
- Kashmiri Chilly Powder (Piriyan Mulaku Podi) – 2 tsp (Alternatively, use Paprika Powder for Color)
- Grated Coconut – 3/4 cup
- Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
- Water – as needed
- Salt – to taste
- Wash and clean the salmon pieces and cut it into curry sized pieces.
- Soak the fish tamarind in hot water for ten minutes so that it softens. Alternatively, you can microwave the fish tamarind in a bowl with little water for a minute so that is softens. Wash the tamarind pieces and keep it aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a Manchatti (Earthern Pot) or any other pan. Splutter mustard seeds.
- Throw in the shallots and a sprig of curry leaves. Saute until the shallots are translucent.
- Add the minced ginger and garlic. Stir fry for a minute or two.
- Reduce heat and add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilly powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tbsp fish masala powder and 2 tsp kashmiri chilly powder. Stir fry continuously for half a minute.
- Pour half cup water to the pan and continue sauteing the spice paste for two minutes. Add a pinch of fenugreek powder.
- Pour 2 more cups of water along with the soaked fish tamarind. Bring everything to a boil.
- Meanwhile, grind the coconut with little water to make a smooth paste.
- Reduce heat and add the coconut paste to the pan along with salt to taste.
- Slowly add the the fish to the gravy. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Open the pan and throw in the remaining sprig of curry leaves. Simmer the curry for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and keep it covered for 3-4 hours so that the fish absorbs all the flavors.
- You may have to increase or decrease the number of fish tamarinds to reach the desired level of sourness.
- I always start with 3 medium pieces. Before adding the fish, I taste the gravy. If it is too sour, I remove once piece. If I feel it isn’t enough, I add one more piece.
- Kashmiri Chilly Powder gives the curry a nice red color with increasing the spiciness.
- For a slightly different taste, you can grind 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds (perumjeerakam) along with the coconut.