Ambul thiyal

Ambul thiyal

Sour curry of fish

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Serves
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

In Sri Lanka, the acid element traditionally used in fish curries is ‘goraka’, a bright orange fruit that is divided into segments and dried. The dried segments are almost black. If you can obtain this ingredient, use four segments and grind them to a pulp, I have used tamarind as a substitute because it is more readily available.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g skinless, boneless firm white fish fillets, such as snapper
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
60ml vinegar
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon salt
6-8 curry leaves
1 stem lemongrass, bruised
or 2 strips lemon zest
2.5 cm stick cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, (optional)
2 tablespoons oil

Method

  1. Wipe the fish with damp paper towel. Cut each fish fillet into large pieces. Soak the tamarind pulp in the vinegar for 10 minutes. If the tamarind is very dry, heat the vinegar and tamarind in an enamel saucepan for a few minutes, adding some water. When cool enough to handle, squeeze to dissolve the pulp in the water, then strain, discarding the seeds and fibre.
  2. Put the fish, tamarind liquid and remaining ingredients into a large heavy-based frying pan with 375 ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened — shake the pan or turn the fish pieces carefully once or twice during cooking. Serve with rice.

Note

  • Because of the high acid content of this curry, it is preferable to use a non-reactive enamel or stainless steel pan.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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