Brahmavar - that is where I was brought up. A lovely place with even more lovelier people and amazing food. It is a small town along the Udupi coastline, 70 kms of Mangalore.
No prizes for guessing my favorite Mangalorean meal. Boiled Rice and Fish Curry - That is definitely a marriage made in heaven:)
Attend any weddings in the Mangalore region and you will realise that people are least bothered about the fish in the curry, all they need is the gravy for a sumptuous meal.
My earliest memory, is the fish curry we constantly order at Hotel Ashraya - a restaurant in Brahmavar along the National Highway. Our favorite waiter at the restaurant told us that the flavour of the curry increases if it is kept over night and then served. My cooking experiments proved the same.
Try making this curry with sardines, mackerel or even anchovy, it would taste as good!
Flavors do not necessarily come from complicated recipes - you will know this once you read this recipe, try it and taste the result.
Here is the recipe - the original version given by our maid - Geetha akka. She knows my craving for fish curry and never fails me every time I am home.
- Mackerel/ Sardine - 4 or Anchovy - a handful
- Kashmiri Chilly - 6-7
- Pepper cones - 1/4 tsp
- Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
- Methi Seeds - 1 pinch
- Ajwain/ Carom Seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Coconut - 6 tbsp grated
- Tamarind - 1 amla sized ball
- Onion - 1 thinly sliced
- Tomato - 1 thinly sliced
- Green Chilly - 3 slit
- Ginger - 1 inch finely chopped
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dry roast the ingredients 2 to 6 for about 5 minutes on low flame. Let it cool down and grind it along with grated coconut and tamarind. Use the water necessary to form a smooth paste.
Add the ground masala into a skillet and throw in the onions, tomato, green chilly and ginger. Add salt and pour water to attain the desired consistency and let it boil on high flame. Bring it to boil and reduce the flame and add the cleaned fish. Keep the curry covered on low flame and cook for around 10 - 15 minutes.
Add a sprig of fresh curry leaves. Refrigerate it overnight and serve it along with rice the next day. I promise you that it is worth the effort.