Shark theeyal: An aromatic and iconic curry

Its gravy is cooked using roasted coconut paste. Photo: Chefs Sinoy John and Rahul

Theeyal cooked in a rich and aromatic gravy made with roasted coconut paste is an iconic dish. While prawns theeyal versions are extremely popular, a classic dish can be prepared using fleshy fish like shark or stingray too. Here is how to make delicious shark theeyal at home.

1 shark
1 coconut (grated)
2 tbsp coconut oil
8 dried chillies
Curry leaves as required
1 tsp pepper corns
20 gms shallots
½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
20 gms ginger
8 green chillies
50 gms shallots
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp chilli powder
25 – 30 gms Malabar tamarind
Salt as required

Into a heated pan add grated coconut, 2 tbsp coconut oil, dried chillies, curry leaves, pepper corns and shallots
When they are nicely roasted add chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder
Sauté until the raw smell of the powders are gone
Turn off the flame and allow this mixture to cool down
Grind this mixture along with some water into a smooth paste
Heat coconut oil in a thick bottomed vessel or uruli
Splutter the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, ginger, green chillies, halved shallots and curry leaves
Lightly sauté them before adding turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder
Cook until the raw smell of the powders is gone
Add water as required
Add the tamarind when the gravy boils
Add half of the coconut paste
Allow this to boil
Add ¾ tsp salt
Wash the fish fillets with salt, vinegar and turmeric powder before adding into the theeyal
Cook for five minutes on high flame before lowering the flame
Cook for five more minutes
Turn off the flame when the fish fillets are cooked perfectly
Finally, sprinkle some fresh coconut oil
Delicious coconut based shark theeyal is ready.

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