Friday, April 11, 2008

bonito and me - Sri Lankan fish curry with tamarind

I’ve done it again! Not once but twice followed the “cook a recipe to the letter” challenge.

This time I used a recipe the Significant Eater had hunted down and recently made - a delicious tamarind based, fish curry. The ingredients are simple, as long as there is a good Asian grocery near you to buy the Ceylon curry powder. If not, this version of the powder is probably a close match to the one we used.

I am a recent convert to the tang of tamarind, in this recipe the water from the soaked pulp is mixed with the curry powder, turmeric and chilli to form a marinade for the fish. A short time later you fry off some curry leaves and fenugreek and throw in the fish and spicy juices.

For the curry, I used bonito. This is sometimes referred to as a type of tuna, though it is a member of the mackerel family. It is quite a striking medium sized fish. It’s skin is shiny, with lines down it’s body and appears to have no scales. But here in Australia it is not a popular fish. This may be because it is rarely offered as fillets and still there are too many people with an aversion to cooking whole fish. I have cooked with it whole once before and just the mention of bonito still attracts an extraordinary amount of hits. It is a remarkably cheap fish, coming in at under $10 a kilo. This time I got the fishmonger to fillet it for me and all that was left was for me to remove a small strip of bones and I was left with rich, red chunks of flesh. Baking it whole, I’d thought the flesh was quite dense but handling it as a fillet it was clear it is actually softer than tuna, necessitating some respect in order to not turn it to shreds. Accordingly, I cut the cooking time in half. But I swear that was the only adjustment to the recipe!

So here it is – Sri Lankan Fish Curry with Tamarind, I didn’t create the recipe so you will have to honour it by clicking the link. A simple, tangy fish dish that goes well with rice and salad.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Lucy said...

Tamarind is great stuff. Pleased you've been playing with it's astringency.

Softer than tuna - must track some down. Bless those fishmongers who will happily fillet fish. Recipe sounds lovely.

10:05 am  
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2:52 pm  
Anonymous kosher said...

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6:27 am  
Anonymous tool pouches said...

isn't it that taramind is a little bit somehow salty? why put it in a curry? im pretty sure that it would taste different.

4:19 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Tamarind is sour not salty. The closest thing in western kitchens is lemon or lime juice. It brings another dimension to the flavour.

5:39 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

Hope you have a photo of this dish. The tang of the tamarind and the flavor of the curry, is rather an odd combination, eh.

Cheers
Cathy@eye chart

4:51 pm  

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