Prep time: 15 mins (doesn’t include time taken to clean the fish) | Cook time: 5-7 mins | Serves 2-3
- 500 grams mackerels (approx 4 medium sized ones)
- 2-3 tablespoons of oil
For the masala:
- 3 long dry red chillies (Bedgi variety), de seeded if you wish
- 3 Kashmiri chillies
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3 cloves garlic (Indian variety)
- 1 big onion
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 marble size ball of tamarind
- salt to taste
1. Descale and clean the fish well and leave it on a colander to drain. If the fish is too small leave them whole otherwise cut each Mackerel into two or three pieces (depending on its size)
2. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under ‘For the masala’ using a few tablespoons of water at a time, to a fine paste. Transfer the masala into a bowl and rinse the mixer jar with just about 1/4 cup (or less) of water – reserve this.
3. Heat oil in a wide based pan (big enough to accommodate the mackerels if you are leaving them whole) and swirl the pan so that the base is coated well with the oil. Now add half the masala to the pan, spread it well and place one layer of the fish pieces. Next spread the remaining masala over it and layer with the rest of the fish pieces. If the masala looks too thick, sprinkle the reserved masala water.
4. Gently shake the pan a bit so that all the fish pieces are covered with the masala adequately. Cover the pan and cook on a slow fire till the oil begins to separate and the fish is cooked. Remove from heat but keep the pan covered – the fish will continue to cook in the heat.
5. Serve hot with rice, chapathis, dosa or neer dosa
Recipe adapted from J.B Lobo’s ‘Home Encyclopedia’