mild or hot to your preference
1 medium onion
450 grams can of
finely crushed tomatoes
thyme finely chopped
chopped coriander leaves
5-6 curry leaves
3 cups water
oil to deep fry
salt and pepper
Buy fish whole and
scaled. Cut into slices (serve sizes), clean fish, remove gills,
intestines etc. You may separate the fish head into halves lengthwise.
Wash in cold running water, pat dry with kitchen towel paper. Season
with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle fish slices with the corn
flour to ensure an even coating. Put the fish head pieces aside.
Alternatively, toss the fish pieces in a large plastic bag with the
corn flour. The corn flour will give the fish a crisp golden texture
Deep fry the fish
slices to a crisp golden finish. Do not fry the fish head pieces.
Drain the fried fish slices on kitchen paper. Retain 3 tablespoons of
the vegetable oil. Put in a deep thick bottomed saucepan over
medium-high heat. Stir in the crushed garlic, crushed ginger, finely
chopped onion and thyme. Stir fry until the onions become transparent
and cooked. Add the curry leaves (alternatively use kaffir lime
leaves), stir in and cook for 2 minutes. Put in the finely crushed
tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes are cooked and the sauce is
well blended. Add hot water to the sauce to prevent burning if
necessary. Stir at intervals. When the sauce is nearly cooked, stir in
1 tablespoon of the finely chopped coriander leaves.
Add 4 tablespoons of
curry powder into the tomato sauce. Stir in and simmer for a further
2-3 minutes. Progressively add 1 cup of hot water and allow to simmer
to obtain a creamy curry sauce. Add the raw fish head pieces and
gently stir into the curry sauce. Progressively, add 2 cups of hot
water into the sauce and mix carefully. Cover and allow to simmer for
20-25 minutes or until the fish head pieces are cooked. Stir at
intervals and turn over the fish head pieces once. You may adjust the
sauce consistency to your preference by either adding more hot water
(little at a time) to have more sauce or simmer without cover to
thicken the sauce.
Taste sauce and season
with salt & pepper to your preference. Carefully remove the fish
head pieces and place in a warmed serving dish. Carefully put into the
sauce the fried fish slices. Stir gently into the sauce and allow to
simmer for a further 10-15 minutes. Make sure that the fish slices are
fully immersed into the sauce.
Remove from heat and
allow the fish slices to rest in the sauce for at least 30 minutes.
Warm over low heat just before serving. Carefully transfer the fish
slices and sauce into the serving dish with the fish head pieces.
Sprinkle with the remaining chopped coriander leaves.
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