Mangalorean cuisine is diverse and hugely influenced by South Indian cuisine. One of the classic, traditional, delicious and popular dish is ‘Amshi Tikshi’ which means ‘Hot & Sour’ fish curry. It is spicy, unique with distinct flavours. Fresh coconut, curry leaves and coconut oil is liberally used. Mangalorean Fish Curry is an eternal favourite to many fish lovers. I cannot express how much we enjoyed eating this curry with rice – Truly divine!
Here in this recipe, the spices are dry roasted and grounded to a fine smooth paste along with water. I prepared the spice paste by grinding the spices on a thick, granite slab with a heavy rolling pin (not necessary – I love to do it this way for my fish curries; sometimes, non-veg too). The fish is then cooked in the paste along with onion, green chilli and garlic and it absorbs all the aromatic flavours of the curry turning into an incredible dish to devour. I did not add coconut in this curry. Traditionally, it is made with mackerel or sardines, even shark tastes very good; but I have opted for white fish . I also minimized the spices so that my little boy (a fish lover) could enjoy and yes, he really did. Back home, I would finish my fish curries with fresh curry leaves smeared in coconut oil – How I miss that part here?
Delicious fish curry with the sourness of tamarind, heat from the chillies, and warmth of aromatic spices; an extreme delight to have it with hot steamed boiled rice.
prep time : 15 mins, cooking time : 15 mins, cuisine : mangalore, serves : 8, author : gloria
1 kg white fish (cut, cleaned & drained) (read notes)
1 onion and the other half which was used for masala (finely chopped)
2 green chillies (slit lengthwise)
1 tomato (finely chopped)
few curry leaves
salt to taste
oil (preferably coconut oil)
To grind together:
15-20 byadgi chillies or kashmiri red chillies
5 dry bird’s eye chillies
1 1/2-2 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
lemon sized tamarind
half of 1 onion
2-3 big garlic cloves
1/4 inch ginger
Mise en place
1. Clean fish nicely with coarse salt. Cut it into medium sized pieces, drain and keep aside.
2. Dry roast mustard, cumin, fenugreek and coriander seeds along with chillies for few seconds and grind them in the same order mentioned in “to grind together” section with 1/4 cup of water into a fine smooth paste.*
Take a clay-pot or a heavy bottom pan and into a preheated oil, add curry leaves, green chillies and onion. Saute till the onions turn golden brown in colour. Add tomatoes and continue to saute till it becomes soft and mushy.
Now, add the grounded spice paste* and on medium-high heat saute till the raw smell goes and oil floats on the top for 6-7 minutes. It should be little runny; can add little more water at this stage.
Once it comes to boil, add salt and gently add the fish. Cook covered and allow it to simmer for 10 mins. Swirl the pot occasionally.
Once cooked, top it with fresh curry leaves smeared with little coconut oil. Switch off heat. Give resting period of 1 hour; let the fish absorb all the beautiful flavours.
Now, take a spoon and pour the curry on top of the hot steamed boiled rice and eat slowly with joy; Voila!!!!
My observations/notes :
– fish like mackerel or sardines can be used. i used white fish
– can use 1/2 cup coconut if desired and grind it along with the other spices. do not dry roast coconut
– can increase or decrease the chillies as per preference
– 1/8 teaspoon means a pinch
– if you want to add peppercorns in this curry, go ahead and add 1/2 tsp
– i used dried curry leaves