This is the favorite fish curry dish from the eastern part of India. I learned this recipe from my mother-in-law, who is a master in cooking this recipe. I have to practice it 3-4 times to achieve perfection. Try this curry with plain steamed rice--you'll love it.
- 2 lbs fish fillets (best with tilapia)
- 2 tablespoons garlic paste
- 2 inches gingerroot
- 5 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 4 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 tablespoon coriander powder
- 5 medium shallots or 2 medium onions
- 7 red chilies
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 3 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 2 big tomatoes
- oil, to deep fry fish
- 3 cups water
- In a grinder grind the onions, ginger, 2 bay leaves, red chili, mustard seeds, cumin seed all together.
- Preserve some cut pieces 1 cup) of onion.
- Cut small pieces of tomatoes.
- Make small pieces of fish fillets, about 3 inches in length.
- Clean them properly if you are using the whole fish and make it into small pieces.
- Take a big plate, put the fish in it and sprinkle 2 teaspoon of salt, two teaspoon of turmeric powder and the garlic paste.
- Mix all of them properly.
- Allow to marinate for 1/2 hour.
- Take a pan or a wok (preferable), heat it and put oil to deep fry the fish.
- Once the oil is much hotter, fry the fish, 3-4 pieces at a time, 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Keep all of them in a separate plate.
- When all the pieces are fried, clean all the black residues from the oil in the wok with the spatula and put 2 tablespoon of fresh oil in the it.
- Then put a pinch of cumin seed, a pinch of mustard seed, 2 red chili, 2 bay leaves, a pinch of aniseed (all together is called panch-phoran) and allow them to splutter.
- Then put the cut onion pieces and allow it to just a little brown.
- Then put all the ground paste,tomatoes,left over turmeric powder and salt to taste.
- Keep stirring it until the paste becomes a little brown (it takes around 10 minutes).
- You can also identify it by looking at the wok, that the paste will start leaving the oil and paste will now no more stick on the wok.
- The paste is now perfectly fried.
- Now pour 3 cups of water to it, or as much thick gravy you want.
- Once the gravy comes to boil, start dropping the fried fish pieces and allow to boil for 15 minutes.
- Switch off the gas.
- Use coriander leaf for garnishing.
- This dish should be served with fresh steamed rice and squeeze some lime some juice on top.