This curry is truly delicious! I say so with such confidence because I grew up eating it - this is my mom's recipe. The ingredients used to make it show a mix of both eastern and northern Indian culinary influences. Serve it with piping hot plain boiled rice.
- 1 kg fish cut into 1" thick slices (this curry tastes best with Rohu but you can use any fish with firm white flesh)
- 4 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 2 tbsps cumin seeds
- 8 dry red chillies
- 1 tsp paanch phoran seeds (see recipe below)
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 large onion ground to a paste
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 large tomatoes cut into cubes
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 3-4 tbsps coconut powder
- Walnut-sized ball of tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup of hot water
- 2 cups hot water
- Salt to taste
- Chopped coriander to garnish
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium flame and roast the dry red chillies, mustard and cumin seeds till they begin to release their aroma. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
- Grind the tomatoes, turmeric, garam masala powder, coconut and above powder into a smooth paste. Keep aside. Squeeze the soaked tamarind well to remove all the pulp.
- Heat the oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pan and add the paanch phoran (see recipe here) and curry leaves. When they stop spluttering, add the onion paste and fry till light brown.
- Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the tomato and spice paste and fry till the oil begins to separate from the masala.
- Add 2 cups of hot water and the tamarind pulp to this masala and stir to mix well.
- Bring the gravy to a boil and then simmer.
- Gently add the fish to this gravy and cook till done.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with plain boiled rice.