Food & Drink

The Recipe of delicious Andhra Fish Curry

Vizag began as a fishing hamlet and now this bustling city is an eclectic mix of traditional and ultra mod. We boast of international cuisines and yet the true Vizagite relishes traditional fare like no other. And when speaking of traditional fare, perhaps the most popular truly Andhra dishes include amongst others, the chepala pulusu, or traditional Andhra fish in gravy. Chepala pulusu is fresh fish cooked in a tangy spiced tamarind sauce. This dish tastes best the next day (after the pieces literally marinate in the tamarind and spices) served with hot steamed white rice and sliced onions.

Ingredients:

7-8 fish fillets
1 cup finely chopped onions (or shallots)
4-5 slit green chillies
1 1/2 Tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 1/2 Tsp red chilli powder
1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
10-12 curry leaves
Tamarind pulp (soak 1 big lemon-sized ball of tamarind in 1 1/2 cup of warm water and extract thick juice)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves (for garnish)
salt to taste
1/2 cup oil

Tempering:

1/2 Tsp mustard seeds
1/4 Tsp fenugreek seeds

Procedure:

In a wide vessel, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. After the seeds splutter, add the fenugreek seeds and roast till slightly brown. Add curry leaves, chopped onions and fry on medium heat till the onions turn transparent. Put in ginger-garlic paste and fry for a few minutes. Next, add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and red chilli powders. Sprinkle salt and fry for a few minutes. Now, add the tamarind extract and green chillies; let it cook till the gravy boils. Reduce the flame and gently slide in the fish pieces; cook covered for 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn the pieces over and let it cook further on a low flame with a lid for about another ten minutes till the gravy thickens. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Notes:

  • Always use fresh fish as it tastes best. It is preferably made with fresh water fish like tilapia, but any other like mackerel or catfish also suffice.
  • Use a wide heavy bottomed vessel so that it fits all the fish pieces in one layer.
  • Avoid mixing the dish frequently after adding the fish pieces; the fish pieces are very delicate and stirring frequently would break them. Instead gently rotate the vessel itself to stir the gravy and let it coat the fish pieces. For first timers, an old trick is to fry the fish pieces in hot oil for a minute before adding to the gravy – this helps the fish hold its shape.
  • Let the pulusu rest for at least 2 hours before serving so that the pieces absorb the tangy flavour of the tamarind sauce and spices.
  • Preferably dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies. Grind and use. Freshly roasted and ground spices enhance the flavour of the dish.

Image credits- Sabitha Vantalu

This post was last modified on 31/07/2017 10:31 pm

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