Thursday, 17 July 2008

Assam Curry Fish

My friend, Isabella loves fish, appreciates tangy flavours and also likes chillies. With this in mind, I was geared up to prepare Assam Fish Curry for her lunch today.

The following is not my recipe but I can’t remember where I got it from in the first place.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6-8

1½ lb/750g ikan tengiri/Spanish mackerel or ikan merah/red snapper
½ coconut milk and 1½ cups/375 ml water – mix together
½ inch/120 ml tamarind juice
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons cooking oil

Pounded Ingredients:
8 dried chillies
4 stalks serai/lemon grass
1 inch/2.5 cm kunyit/tumeric
6 cloves garlic
1 thumb size piece ginger

Wash fish in salt water and drain dry. Cut fish along the length into ½ in/1.3 cm slices.
Heat cooking oil in a pan. Fry fish till slightly brown on both sides. Remove
Put in more oil if necessary. Fry pounded ingredients until fragrant. Add santan (coconut milk), fish and salt to taste. Bring to the boil.
Add tamarind juice and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
Dish up and serve hot.

Note some changes I made to the recipe:
I have included red onions, kaffir lime leaves and two tablespoons of my own home cooked chilli sauce into the pounded ingredients. It's vital that oil seeps to the surface of rempah (pounded ingredients) before proceeding to add in the liquid components. This is instrumental to the success of any curry dishes.

Semi-skimmed milk was used as I did not have any coconut milk.
A pinch of sugar and tamarind juice was incorporated into the sauce, adjusted for seasoning BEFORE the fried fish was added.