Goan fish curry
Goan fish curry is a popular and flavorful dish from the coastal state of Goa in India. It is known for its rich and aromatic blend of spices that create a tantalising curry. My first experience of Goan fish curry was in Oman. I had been working in a location where we usually ate in a fine-dining restaurant located on the compound. At first, I went for rich dishes like Lobster Thermidor, but after a few weeks, I hankered for something else. Then I saw one of the Goan waiters tucking into a curry, which was not on the menu. The following night, he made sure that I was served Goan fish curry cooked by one of the Goan chefs. It was magnificent. Here is my best attempt to emulate an authentic Goan fish curry:
- 1 Large saucepan
- 1 blender/grinder
- 1 cup freshly grated coconut
- 6-8 dried red chilies (soaked in warm water)
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 5 cm fresh ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 8 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
- 500 g firm white fish (kingfish, snapper, or tilapia, cut into medium-sized pieces)
- 2 med onions (finely chopped)
- 2 med tomatoes (finely chopped)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Seasoning - to taste
- rock salt
- black pepper
- Fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- Make the spice paste: In a blender, combine grated coconut, soaked red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, and tamarind pulp. Blend into a smooth paste, adding a little water if necessary. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until they turn soft and mushy.
- Stir in the prepared spice paste and cook for a few minutes until the raw smell disappears and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.
- Add the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
- Season with salt according to taste and add the fish pieces. Simmer gently until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook the fish.
Garnish and serve
- Once the fish is cooked, garnish the curry with fresh coriander leaves and nigella seeds.
- Serve the Goan fish curry hot with steamed rice or fresh bread.