Hoki Fish Curry - no coconut

Hoki fish is a part of the backbone of the NZ fishing industry. Unfortunately, it is one of those over fished varieties thanks to the corporate giant McDonalds. Now, though I may feel sad I can not control Pras who is like every other mallu, an ardent seafood lover. We had bought 500g of this beautiful fillet of hoki when we had gone to the super market and since I could not think of eating another sandwich (we've been eating a lot of bread these last few days), I decided to give it a go in fish curry.

I've seen my mother-in-law and co-sister make a similar curry except I did not have the quintessential kodumpuli for it. I used normal tamarind paste that I got at an Indian store here called "Cooking Without Mess" which is kind of true when it comes to extracting the tamarind paste.

Hubby's verdict : "Tript ho gaye baalak" which translates to "I'm content". I keep saying this to him after I have made something that reminds me of my childhood.

Cooking time : 20 minutes
Preparation time : 15 minutes (lesser if you multitask, explained below)
Equipment Required : Mixie if you don't have a mortar and pestle to make the ginger/garlic paste

Ingredients : (Serves 3)

  1. 500g fish 
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 2 large country tomatoes
  4. 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  5. 1.5 tbsp tamarind paste
  6. 2 cups of water
  7. 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  8. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  9. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  10. 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  11. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  12. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  13. A few curry leaves
  14. 1 green chilly
  15. 1 tbsp oil
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Coriander to garnish

How I made it :

  1. Chop the onions fine.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. 
  3. Add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeks to hot oil. Cover, lower flame and let them stop spluttering
  4. Once they stop spluttering, add curry leaves and 1 sliced green chilly.
  5. After 30 seconds, add the chopped onions.
  6. Lower the flame and get to cleaning the fish. Chop into 2 inch pieces.
  7. If you are using fresh ginger and garlic, use your mortar and pestle and smash them well. You could alternately, grind the ginger, garlic, red chilly powder, coriander powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder with a little water. 
  8. Once the onions are soft, takes about 5-6 minutes, add the ginger garlic paste.
  9. After 30-40 seconds of frying, add the powders and a little water.
  10. While this is frying on low flame, chop your tomatoes and add them to the pan.
  11. Fry till the tomatoes are well cooked and soft. 
  12. Add the tamarind paste in 2 cups of water.
  13. Adjust salt. 
  14. Let this boil till you can see a kind of froth or oil floating on the top.
  15. Put in your fish pieces. Ensure they are well covered with the water. Add more water if required. Cover and cook on low for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Usually fish does not take long to cook. If you want a thicker curry, do not cover. As you can see mine is a little thin.
  16. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.

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