I had the worst craving for fish the other day. It's funny that when I was a kid, I never used to care for fish very much. I'd much rather eat shrimp or crabs and used to get quite irritated when Amma would buy fish. Funny how times have changed! I've become a self-professed fish addict as well! I found myself dying for fish and drove to the fish market, cooked the fish right away and ate it. Man, was that ever satisfying!!
When I was thinking about how to make the gravy, it occurred to me that I could add a bit of coarsely ground onion with the masala. I found it to help balance the sourness of the tamarind a bit as well as give the gravy a bit of richness that was really divine! Just be sure to compensate with enough extra spice or the gravy will be dull, since the onions will make it feel less spicy than usual!
Fish - 1 1/2 lb, cleaned and cut into small steaks
Shallot - 3 medium, sliced finely (you could use 1 medium onion instead)
Tomato - 2 medium, chopped
Tamarind - small lime size, soaked in water, juice extracted
Dry roast for a few seconds and coarsely grind with 1 shallot (or 1/4 onion):
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Fennel powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 3-4 tsp, or to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil (recommended: sesame oil)
Fenugreek (methi) seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
1. Wash the fish well with turmeric powder and lime juice. Keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add the fenugreek seeds and toss for a few seconds until lightly brown.
3. Add the curry leaves and shallots. Fry until the shallots brown.
4. Then, add tomatoes and saute until they soften a bit.
5. Now, add the tamarind juice, masala paste, 1 cup of water, and required salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until the gravy becomes thick (to your desired consistency).
6. Now, lower the heat and add the fish pieces. Cover the pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes on medium low until the fish is cooked. Re-check for seasoning and turn off.
Serve with a platter of steaming hot white rice and enjoy with some fish fry!! :)