Surmai Curry (King Fish Curry)

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I have a weakness for fish & seafood . This curry is so very tasty that I like to soak bread or steamed rice & feel truly satisfied. I am running short of words to describe this awesome chunky surmai curry… So go ahead & prepare this traditional & mouth watering fish curry which can be prepared within minutes.. 🙂

Ingredients :
  • 6 slices Surmai (King Fish)
  • 7 dry Kashmiri Chillies (deseeded & soaked in warm water)
  • 2 medium Onions (chopped finely)
  • 1 fresh Green Chilli (slit)
  • ½ fresh Coconut (grated)
  • 4 tbsps. Coriander pwd.
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric pwd
  • 6 cloves fresh Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh Ginger (grated)
  • 1 med. tomato (chopped)
  • 2 tbsps. fresh Tamarind pulp
  • ½ cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp. fresh Garlic paste
  • 1tsp. fresh Ginger paste
  • A pinch of Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required
  • 3 tbsps. Vegetable Oil 

Method :
Wash the Surmai fish well & drain completely.
Then marinate the fish slices with ½ tsp. turmeric, ginger – garlic pastes & a little salt for about 20 mins.
Make a fine masala paste with soaked Kashmiri chillies along with the water, 1 onion, grated coconut, coriander pwd., cumin seeds, ½ tsp. turmeric pwd., garlic cloves, 1 tbsp. grated ginger, chopped tomato & tamarind pulp.
Transfer the thick masala paste to a bowl.
Put some water in the blender & reserve the masala water in another bowl.
In a deep pan, heat vegetable oil on med. heat.
Add onions & saute till light brown.
Then add the masala & saute till the rawness disappears.
Add the reserved masala water & sufficient water to make a slightly thick gravy. Do not thin the gravy too much.
Add the slit green chilli, pinch of sugar & let the curry come to a boil.
Reduce heat to med. & gently slide in the marinated surmai slices.
Let it cook for 2 mins., then lower the heat & let it simmer for about 5 mins.
Do not stir the curry with a spoon; just hold the pan firmly & stir from side to side slowly taking care not to spill.
Lastly, add the coconut milk & stir once gently  preferably with a wooden spoon.
Adjust salt to taste. Let it simmer for about 2 mins.
Switch of the heat & let the curry rest for awhile. Serve hot with steamed rice or bread.
Tips & Variations :
Adding a pinch of sugar gives a better finish & gloss to the curry plus it cuts the acidity if using tomatoes. Tomatoes add more color to the curry.
Try & use fresh spices. Keep a balance with spices i.e use sparingly & just enough to bring out the flavors of the fish & coconut.
Using fresh fish & seafood enhances the taste & maintains the freshness of the curry.
You can pan fry the fish before sliding into the curry.
Instead of tamarind & tomato, you can use kokum, bimli or sliced raw mango.

You can add quartered tomatoes instead of grinding the tomatoes, if desired.

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