Does the aroma or the taste of certain food take you back in time? This Konkani style fish curry brings back childhood memories every single time I make it.
As I prep the ingredients, I’m immediately transported to our home in Bangalore where we lived for about 14 years. I picture Mom in the kitchen, rubbing salt on fresh fish. I’m reminded of the aroma of fried fish and fish curry.
What are some of your food memories?
Traditionally made in earthen pots, this Konkani style fish curry is a classic dish in the Konkani cuisine. It is also known as alle piyava ghashi or ginger onion curry. The base for this fish curry is a smooth paste made of grated coconut, dry red chilies and a small piece of tamarind.
This dish is typically made with Pomfret, Kingfish or Mackerel that are easily available in Indian fish markets. But you can use any firm white fish like Tilapia or Catfish.
- 8 - 10 small, firm white fish pieces (like Tipalia, Catfish, Pomfret, Mackerel)
- one small onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 green chilies, sliced or chopped (depending on your spice level)
- 1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
- 1 tsp of coconut oil
- salt to taste
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 4 to 6 dry red chilies (see notes below)
- a small piece of tamarind
- warm water
- I used a combination of byadagi and regular dry red chilies. The former is for color, while the latter is for the heat. Use as per your spice requirements.
- Wash the fish well in water.
- Using your blender, make a paste of the items listed under "To Grind". Add water little at a time to blend everything to a smooth paste. It should not be too watery.
- In a heavy bottom pan, add the ground coconut paste, chopped onions, ginger, green chilies, and salt.
- Bring this to a boil over a medium-low heat. Don't use high heat.
- Once this comes to a boil, lower the flame and drop the fish pieces carefully.
- Cook until the fish turns white. Turn the fish pieces carefully as they turn white. This should take about 5 - 6 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and pour the coconut oil on top.
- Don't be tempted to saute this with a spatula like your usual curry. Fish pieces are delicate and can fall apart easily.
- If you do need to stir the curry, hold the pan by its handles and gently move it.
Fish tends to be bland on its own and coconut is also on the sweeter side, so don’t be afraid to spice up the gravy. This Konkani style fish curry usually tastes better after a few hours or even the next day, as the fish absorbs the flavors.
Have it with steamed rice and a side of fish fry.