Maslyechi Jeere Miri Kadi – Cumin & Pepper Style Fish Curry
- 1/2 kg black pomfret/lady fish (kane)/shark (thato)/ silver fish/whiting (erli), ray fish/kite fish(vagole)*see notes
- salt to taste
- oil for frying
- 1/2 a medium sized onion finely sliced (for tempering)
For the masala:
- 5-6 long red chillies (bedgi) (use deseeded if you wish to tone down the spice)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds * see notes
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 medium sized onions
- 7-8 small cloves of garlic
- 2 marble sized ball of tamarind
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard (optional)
- 2 tablespoons grated coconut
1. Descale and clean the fish (if not cleaned already). Wash in a 3-4 changes of water. Allow to drain on a colander. If desired marinate the fish lightly with salt.
2. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under ‘For the Masala‘. Reserve the masala water from the mixie.
3. In a pan/kadhai heat some oil and fry the ground masala well. Add the reserved masala water and a little additional water to make a gravy of medium thickness (don’t make it too watery as the fish tends to release some stock making the gravy too thin eventually). Let the gravy come to a boil.
4. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the fish pieces gently. Let the curry simmer till the fish is cooked – about 1-2 minutes
5. Turn off the heat and prepare the seasoning – heat oil in a small pan and fry the onions for tempering till they turn golden brown. Add this to the prepared curry and cover the pan immediately to trap the aroma.
6. Serve hot with rice.
1. Adjust the number of chillies to your choice. Fish like black pomfret or shark taste nice with a slightly higher level of spice, but do adjust it as per your level of spice tolerance. If you are using lady fish (kane) reduce the spice slightly.
2. The use of coriander is not typical – it is optional and doesn’t make much difference if you add or omit it.
3. If you are using fish such as ray fish (vagole), shark (thato) or sole fish (lepo) temper it with 2-3 cloves of garlic instead of onion.
4. If you are using frozen fish make sure that the fish is at room temperature before cooking – you need to thaw it over several hours. If you force defrost it (using the defrost option in your microwave or shock the fish by placing it in water) it will continue to ooze out water in the curry making your end result very watery. The best way to defrost fish is to place it from the freezer into your fridge the previous night (if you are planning to cook it for the next day’s lunch) and then from the fridge to your kitchen counter in the morning.