You know the best thing about living in so many cities & travelling so often? You get to taste some really lipsmacking dishes. Savouring something in its land of origin is a completely different experience. As much as I may crib about the travelling I’ve to do, I can’t deny the fact that it has taught me so much & opened my eyes to the world.
Okay, okay, before I get all senti & philosophical; I know there’s one thing all of you will agree with me on. That, when we need comfort food we turn to what we know best – whether it is flavours or ingredients or maybe, even a style of cooking.
Typically weekend meals at our place are slightly elaborated affairs, given that I don’t have to hurry in the kitchen! And one of those meals has to involve seafood. It’s almost like an unwritten rule. Anyway, it was one of those fish curry-rice days & decided to add something to the curry that would give it a twist. With all the raw mango in season, the choice was pretty obvious. What the raw mango does is give the curry a beautiful tangy undertone that contrasts so well with the addition of coconut milk & spice. My favourite thing is to eat the curry a couple of hours after it is made or even the next day, this allows the flavours to settle down. What it also does is that the bits of raw mango soak in all the goodness of the curry and the minute you bite into it, it’s a bomb of flavours in your mouth! Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients or steps, the truth is that, this curry is really simple to make & best served with steamed rice.
Fish & raw mango curry
4 medium-sized slices of fish, I’ve used Seer/King fish/Surmai here but you can use whatever you prefer
1/2 cup of raw mango, chopped but with the skin on
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tbsp of curry leaves
2 green chillies, slit
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder or haldi
1 cup coconut milk
A handful of coriander leaves
Salt to taste
To be ground into a paste:
1 large or 2 medium onions, peeled & chopped
Dry roast the following on a low flame
1/2 tsp of jeera or cumin seeds
1 tsp of black peppercorns
4-5 red chilles, stalks removed
1-inch stick of cinnamon
Grind this along with
5 cloves of garlic
1-inch knob of ginger, peeled & chopped
Heat oil in a pan & add the mustard seeds to it, when they begin sputtering add the green chillies & curry leaves to it. Now add the turmeric powder.
After a couple of seconds, add the ground onions & lower the flame. Constantly stir it around until the raw smell of the onions vanishes. Next, add the second ground paste and mix well. If you find that the mixture has become dry or may burn, sprinkle some water. Keep a close watch on this.
Meanwhile, take half the portion of the coconut milk and mix with 3/4 cup of water to dilute this. Gradually add this to the pan & keep stirring. Once the coconut milk has mixed with the other ingredients, add the raw mangoes & then the fish slices after a minute. Give it a quick stir. Cover & let it cook for 5-7 minutes. The curry should be bubbling by now. Remove the lied & add salt & check the seasoning. Let it bubble away for a minute or two, check that the fish is cooked. Now add the rest of the coconut milk. Stir it in & garnish with the coriander leaves.
Serve hot with steamed rice.
*The trick is to cook the onion paste on an even, low flame to make sure you bring out the best flavours
*It is best to use a chunky fish like Surmai or Pomfret for this curry as it goes well with the flavours
*You can also garnish it with some ginger matchsticks & grated raw mango