Have you ever had rice served with three kinds of fish curries, two types of fish fries and no less than two other varieties of fish preparations accompanying it ? If you have not, you must time travel to Arthinkal of some 20 years ago. That is what we served to the people we absolutely loved, when they came visiting, in that quaint coastal village, back in the days, etc etc :)
A simple fish curry
Fish, cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch pieces- 2 lbs.
Onion - thinly sliced - 1 ½ cups
Ginger minced - 4 tbsp.
Garlic minced - 2 tbsp.
Curry leaves - 15 nos
Fenugreek - 3/4 tsp.
Green chilies chopped - 1 tbsp. or more if you are using paprika
Kudam puli - 5 nos
Coconut milk - 1 ½ cup
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp.
Salt - to taste
Kashmiri chilly powder or Paprika - 2 1/2 tbsp.
Turmeric - 1tsp
Dry roast fenugreek seeds, grind to a fine powder, keep aside. Soak Kudampuli in water. In a wok, heat oil, add onion and curry leaves, sauté till the pieces are translucent. Add salt, continue to sauté until the onion slices are golden brown. Add ginger, garlic, green chilies, curry leaves and sauté till tender. Add turmeric, stir well. Add the coconut milk and keep sautéing till coconut milk almost completely dries up ( This is the most important step, make sure to stir well until coconut milk dries up, but be careful not to burn it. At this point you will see oil separating).Add 3 cups of water, chilly powder/paprika and soaked kudampuli to the cooked coconut mixture, mix well. Heat till the gravy starts to boil. Add the fish pieces, cook covered in medium heat for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle with the fenugreek powder. Cover with the lid again and leave it covered for at least 1 hr. before serving