3long dry red chilliesBedgi variety, de seeded if you wish
1inchpiece of ginger
1marble size ball of tamarind
salt to taste
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)
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.
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.
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.