Fish curry

Fish curry

Gulai ikan

By
From
South East Asian Food

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups thin coconut milk
2 slices dried tamarind
or 1-2 tablespoons tamarind water
500g fish cutlets or thick fillets
1/2-1 cup thick coconut milk
salt, to taste

Curry paste

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
6-10 medium-sized dried chillies, soaked in hot water until soft then squeezed dry
2.5cm piece fresh turmeric, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 thick slice green ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
6 shallots, sliced

Method

  1. First make the curry paste. Grind all the dry spices to a powder and mash the chillies, turmeric, ginger, garlic and shallots to a fine paste in the usual way. Alternatively, mash the shallots and garlic and add 3 tablespoons of commercial Malay fish curry powder (rempah kari ikan). Mix the ground spices or the commercial curry powder, adding as much water as necessary to make a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Put in the curry paste and fry until it smells fragrant, reducing the heat to prevent it from burning.
  3. Add the thin coconut milk and the tamarind, stirring and blending thoroughly. When it comes to the boil put in the fish. Simmer until the fish is cooked. Add the thick coconut milk and salt to taste, stir well. Bring back to the boil and remove from the stove.
  4. Often in the north 100 g okra or a couple of thin purple eggplant sliced thickly on the diagonal are added. Put them in after the spice paste has been fried until fragrant, and stir-fry until well coated with oil and spices before adding the coconut milk. Simmer until the vegetable is nearly cooked and then put in the fish.

Tempering

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 shallots, sliced
or 1/2 brown onion, cut crosswise into two and then sliced finely lengthwise
1 garlic clove, sliced finely lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seed
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seed
10 curry leaves

Method

  1. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry all the ingredients together until the shallots are golden brown. Pour over the curry before serving.

Note

  • This is the classic southern Malay version of this dish. For a more modern pan-Malaysian touch prepare the following tempering from the Indian-influenced north to add at the end.
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