Method of Preparation :
Heat about 3 - 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and wait till it sputters.
Now add the chopped shallots, ginger and garlic. Sauté them till they become soft/light brown. Add the curry leaves and the masala paste now. Keep on sautéing till a nice aroma comes or till the oil separates from the masala. Add the tamarind along with the water, in which it was soaked. Add salt. Add about 1/2 a cup of water into the bowl in which the masala paste was made and then add the same to the pan. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Add the fish pieces, one by one, into the saucepan.
Now take another larger pan, and transfer all this into that, once the pan is hot. If you feel that there isn't enough gravy/sauce, add 1/2 cup of water into the pan. Bring it to a boil and put the lid on and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, on a medium flame. Keep checking every five minutes to see if the sauce has thickened.
Once the consistency is right, switch off the stove. Add a table spoon of coconut oil into the dish. The Kerala fish curry is now ready to be served. It tastes best with cooked tapioca and steamed rice.
- If the Kerala tamarind is not available, use tamarind paste which is available in most of the supermarkets. Add two teaspoons of tamarind paste to half a cup of luke-warm water and then pour it into the pan.
- Instead of shallots, you may use sliced/chopped onions.
- This particular fish curry tastes better on the next day after it is prepared.