Even for a fish-loving Bong as me, it does get a tad bit tedious to eat the same kind of curry every day. Not that we Bongs have only a few curries; the list is quite exhaustive, but one does not find oneself able to make special dishes every day. Fish for lunch is a common scenario in most Bengali houses, as it is with ours, and mostly, it is river fish like Rohu/Rui or Catla, both varieties of Carp, that are cooked.
My maternal grandmother (Nani), spent her childhood and teenage in Burma, erstwhile Myanmar and brought back their cooking styles into our kitchen. And then, having grown up outside Bengal, we’ve picked different recipes, often brought to life to bring a change in our palates. This recipe is one that I recently learnt from a friend/senior on social media.
If a dish has curry leaves in it, you won’t have to tell me twice about trying it. I love curry leaves and their beautiful fragrance and earthiness. If you ask me whether I like coriander or curry leaves, I’d be in extreme dilemma; so difficult to choose! But lucky me, this dish has both 😉
I’d suggest you have this with rice, because the curry is rich and will go really well with plain rice.
Curry Patta Masala Fish
- Rui/Carp fillets – 6 pieces, medium-large. I’ve used the belly cuts or ‘peti’ pieces here.
Marinate the pieces with salt and turmeric and 1/2 a lemon juice, and keep aside for 15 mins.
For the masala paste:
- Freshly grated coconut – 1 cup
- Green chilies – 5 (didn’t make it spicy)
- Black mustard seeds/Rai – 1 tsp
- Ground cumin – 1 tsp
- Coriander greens – 1 cup
- Curry leaves – 20 to 25
- Garlic paste – 2 tsp
For the curry:
- Ginger grated – 1 inch piece
- Tamarind paste – 2 tbsp (I replaced this with 2 small tomatoes and 1 lemon, made into a paste)
- Onions – 2, sliced
- Dry red chilies – 2 or 3
- Coconut milk – 1/2 cup
- Salt – to taste
- Oil (I used mustard oil) – 4 to 5 tbsp
- Heat the oil in a kadhai and add half the curry leaves. Let them sizzle and crackle, and then add the fish.
- Fry well until each side is nicely browned.
- Take them out on a plate laid with absorbent paper.
- If needed, add more oil, and when hot, add the grated ginger and onions and once they start to change colour, add the masala paste.
- Bhuno this very well, until oil starts to come up on the sides, and add the tamarind/tomato-lemon paste.
- Follow this with coconut milk, salt and check seasonings.
- Now add the fried fish, remaining curry leaves, a little water, and let the masala cook through.
- Once gravy is nice and thick, turn off heat and let the fish sit in the gravy until serving time.
- Serve on a bed of hot steamed rice and garnish with some dry red chilies 🙂