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By Kitchen Queen
This is one recipe that I turn to over and over again when I need to make something to please everyone in the family and am in a pinch for time and energy; to date it has never failed me. This recipe can be put together 20 minutes flat (I have done it in less!) and satisfies even the harshest of food critics (my son). I have inherited this recipe from my mom-in-law who is from Bombay and cooks fabulous food. She says it was originally cooked with coconut milk which was substituted with desiccated coconut when her family moved to Pakistan. A wide variety of fish can be used with this recipe: in Pakistan, I mostly used rahu or surmai; here in the U.S., I make the curry with tilapia or catfish. You can use any fish of your choice – the meatier the fish, the better.
Fish curry is a staple in many parts of Asia and is cooked in many different ways; this particular recipe that I am sharing is more popular in North India. Fish curry is best enjoyed when served with plain boiled/steamed rice.
- Fish (fillets or bone-in) – 3 lbs, cut into thick, large chunks
- Cooking oil – 4 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 2 tsp
- Cumin powder – 4 tbsp
- Dry red chilies (can substitute with red chili powder)
- Curry leaves – 5
- Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Tomatoes – 2 large, diced or use tomato sauce/paste
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Garam Masala powder – ¼ tsp
- Coconut powder/desiccated coconut – 5 tbsp (can substitute with coconut milk)
- Salt to taste
- Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) for garnish, optional
- Heat oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds.
- Cook on medium to high heat until mustard seeds start to crackle.
- Add curry leaves and ginger & garlic paste and sauté until light golden brown.
- Add all the dry spices and sauté for another minute or so.
- Add coconut powder and sauté until golden brown (add few drops of water to help cook evenly). If using coconut milk instead, hold off until fish has been added.
- Add fish and gently turn sides until fish is light brown.
- Add tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes until the oil rises to the surface.
- Add water (2-3 cups) or coconut milk (if you did not use coconut powder).
- Cook uncovered on high heat until the water/curry comes to a boil.
- Cover the skillet, reduce heat and let simmer until fish is tender. Do not over-cook or stir while cooking.
- Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve with boiled/steamed rice.
Cooking Time: 20 minutes