Take your fish curry up a level with pepper

You can pair the curry with a plate of rice, puttu, tapioca, and other popular Kerala items. Photo: Jisha Bijith

For Malayalis, fish curry is truly an emotion. Prepare the dish in any style you may like and it would pair well with boiled rice. Many also like to pair it with puttu, tapioca, and other popular Kerala items. Fish curries taste their best if you have them the next day. Here's a beguiling dish of delicate, flaky fish braised in a flavorful and fiery spice-laden sauce made of pepper. This can be made using any commonly available fish.

¼ kg ayala (Indian mackerel) / mathi (sardine)
3 tbsp pepper
3 tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 small onion
3 sprigs of curry leaves
Crushed ginger and garlic
3 green chillies
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ tbsp of coriander powder
1 tomato (medium-sized)
1 lemon-sized tamarind
1 ½ cup of water
Salt (as needed)

Clean and cut the fish
Put a pan on the stove and boil the pepper in some water
Keep it aside
Now, put another vessel on the stove and pour in the coconut oil
Add in the fenugreek seeds and as it begins to splutter, put the thinly sliced onion into the vessel
Add the curry leaves, crushed ginger with garlic, and green chillies
Now, add in turmeric and coriander powder and pour the pepper water prepared earlier
To adjust tanginess, add in the tomato and tamarind mixed in water
Sprinkle some salt and pour some water, before adding the fish pieces
Let the curry simmer for some time
Finally, add the curry leaves and coconut oil
The lip-smacking curry that combines flaky fish with a rich, fiery sauce is ready to serve

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