Fish curry – onion gravy

Fish curry – onion gravy

I call this the affordable or poor mans fish curry. The gravy does not use the traditional coconut but has an onion base. The heat of the chillies is balanced by the tamarind. While I used very small pomfrets for this dish you could use any small fish that is cheaply and freely available

Fish – any of your choice

For grinding
Onions – 3 very large about 450 grams
Kashmiri chillies- 18
Garlic – 8 cloves
Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
Cumin – 1/2 teaspoon
Ajwain – 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric -1/2 teaspoon
Pepper corns – 3/4 teaspoon
Tamarind – lime sized ball

Ginger one inch piece – not to be ground
Oil as required
Salt to taste

Clean the fish. Prepare a stock of the heads, tails and fins by bringing it to a simmer in water. Do this for twenty minutes till the juices of the fish have been absorbed into the water. Strain and reserve the liquid stock

Grind all the ingredients mentioned above to a smooth paste. Don’t let your grinder over heat as it ruins the oils that the spices release. The best is to grind it on a grinding stone but in the absence of one a blender would do .

In an earthenware pot heat oil and add the ground masala. You need to fry this on low heat for ten minutes stirring constantly. Remember this is an onion based gravy and you want to cook out any raw flavours. Now add the fish stock, enough to form a nice curry. Add salt to taste and bring this to a boil and simmer for ten minutes till the oil begins to float on the top. This means your curry is ready. Now add the cleaned fish and simmer for the next ten minutes if the fish pieces are very large. If the fish is small, five minutes will do. Turn off the gas, add the finely chopped ginger and cover the dish. Let the fish cook in its own heat. Don’t over cook fish

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