Mrs Nair’s Fish Curry
My romance with Indian food is like an endless bollywood dance. One day, when I have my own food travel show, I will visit India. Maybe my first stop in India would be Kerala. I heard that it is the place for all kinds of spices, kind of like a spice garden. It is like spice capital of India where traders from all around would gather and peddle their wares. I can imagine the marketplace to be perfumed with the scent of exotic spices.
But for now, I will just have to be content with what I smell at the Mama store, or the supermarket.
Anyway, I said all that to say that I love fish curry. The best fish curry in my humble opinion is the one that my friend Mdm Nair taught me. I still remember that Saturday morning in a crowded room with neighbourhood aunties and maids, she revealed her recipe for greatness. The fish curry was fabulous. Since those early days, I have been making Mdm Nair’s Fish Curry much to the delight of my Indian friends who tasted it. They say that it has a very Indian taste, whatever that means.
Where to shop?
The Mama’s Store has everything. The spices, the vegetables, everything is there except for the fish. As for the fish, you can get it at the wet market, or supermarket.
Whole Fish (Angoli) 1 pc, 1 kg – (or you can use stingray, I prefer that.)
Red Chilli Paste 3 tbsp
Fish Masala Powder (Baba’s Brand) 6 tbsp
Mixed Spices (Brarath Brand) 2 tbsp
Ladies Fingers 10 pcs
Beef Tomatoes 4 pcs
Onions (sliced) 2 bulbs
Garlic (sliced) 4 bulbs
Fresh Green Chilli (sliced, seeds out) 1 pc
Tomato Puree (Gilda Brand) 1 can
Tamarind (Assam) 1 packet – (you can now get a smaller packet size, in which case it will be the whole portion.)
Carnation Milk 1 can – (I don’t really use that, so that’s optional.)
Curry Leaves 1 sprig
1. Salt the fish for at least half an hour. Then wash and cut the fish into pieces. Mixed 03 tablespoons (tbsp) red chilli paste and 02 tbsp fish masala powder. Add a bit of salt and mixed with fish.
2. Take half packet of the tamarind and soak in half a bowl (5 cups) of water for half an hour.
3. Strain the tamarind and throw away the seeds. Put the tamarind water in a bowl and add 04 tbsp of fish masala powder, 03 garlic and 01 fresh green chilli and a bit of salt and stir.
1. Heat up the pan with oil. Fry ladies fingers till light brown and keep aside. Add mixed spices (02 tbsp), onions (chopped), 1 garlic (sliced), curry leaves till light brown and add tomatoes and fry till tomatoes are soft. Add the tamarind water with masala together with the earlier ingredients and stir. Close the lid until it boils.
2. Add ladies fingers, 1 tbsp of tomato puree and fish. Then add carnation milk (to thicken the curry). Leave for 5 minutes. Serve with white rice or Korean Instant Noodles.