1200 grams whole fish (whiteflesh)
2-4 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons curry powder
mild or hot to your preference
1 medium onion finely chopped
450 grams can of finely crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon thyme finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
5-6 curry leaves
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
oil to deep fry fish
salt and pepper to taste
- Buy fish whole and scaled. Cut into slices (serve sizes), clean fish, remove gills, intestines etc. You may separate the fish head into halves lengthwise. Wash in cold running water, pat dry with kitchen towel paper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle fish slices with the corn flour to ensure an even coating. Put the fish head pieces aside. Alternatively, toss the fish pieces in a large plastic bag with the corn flour. The corn flour will give the fish a crisp golden texture when fried.
- Deep fry the fish slices to a crisp golden finish. Do not fry the fish head pieces. Drain the fried fish slices on kitchen paper. Retain 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Put in a deep thick bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the crushed garlic, crushed ginger, finely chopped onion and thyme. Stir fry until the onions become transparent and cooked. Add the curry leaves (alternatively use kaffir lime leaves), stir in and cook for 2 minutes. Put in the finely crushed tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes are cooked and the sauce is well blended. Add hot water to the sauce to prevent burning if necessary. Stir at intervals. When the sauce is nearly cooked, stir in 1 tablespoon of the finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Add 4 tablespoons of curry powder into the tomato sauce. Stir in and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Progressively add 1 cup of hot water and allow to simmer to obtain a creamy curry sauce. Add the raw fish head pieces and gently stir into the curry sauce. Progressively, add 2 cups of hot water into the sauce and mix carefully. Cover and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the fish head pieces are cooked. Stir at intervals and turn over the fish head pieces once. You may adjust the sauce consistency to your preference by either adding more hot water (little at a time) to have more sauce or simmer without cover to thicken the sauce.
- Taste sauce and season with salt & pepper to your preference. Carefully remove the fish head pieces and place in a warmed serving dish. Carefully put into the sauce the fried fish slices. Stir gently into the sauce and allow to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes. Make sure that the fish slices are fully immersed into the sauce.
- Remove from heat and allow the fish slices to rest in the sauce for at least 30 minutes. Warm over low heat just before serving. Carefully transfer the fish slices and sauce into the serving dish with the fish head pieces. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped coriander leaves.
- Enjoy and serve over rice. Just beautiful.
Source : Madeleine's recipe : Fish Curry
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