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By: Raja Gopalan Chazhiyat Nair

A delicious and traditional recipe for Chettinad fish curry without coconut. Serve hot with steamed rice or with idli or dosa.
Fish Fillets – 400 gms, cleaned, washed (Seer Fish/ you can use any other one)
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4 to 5, slit
Tomatoes – 300 gms, chopped
Shallots/Pearl onions – 200 gms, finely sliced
Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tblsp
Mustard Seeds – 2 tsp
Curry Leaves – handful
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Sesame Oil – 2 tblsp
Tamarind Extract – 3/4 to 1 cup
Salt as per taste

For the masala:
Coriander Seeds – 1 1/4 tblsp
Dry Red Chilies – 8 to 10, round ones
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel – 1 tsp
Black Peppercorns – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – few
Sesame Oil – 2 tblsp

1. Heat sesame oil in a pan over medium flame.
2. Fry all the masala ingredients separately for 45 to 60 seconds and remove.
3. Allow it to cool and grind to a coarse paste with a little water.
4. Heat sesame oil in a pan over medium flame.
5. Fry the fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds for 30 to 45 seconds.
6. Add the curry leaves, onions, green chilies and tomatoes.
7. Sauté well for 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Add the ginger garlic paste and ground masala.
9. Simmer for a minute and pour enough water.
10. Add salt, tamarind extract and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
11. Add the red chilli powder and stir well.
12. Add the fish pieces and cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
13. Ensure the fish pieces do not break.
14. Remove from flame.
15. Serve hot with rice.

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