Today, I thought of giving you another Ceylonese fish curry recipe that will surely rock your taste-buds. Truly, this is a very old traditional way of preparing fish in Sri Lanka and is more popular in the southern region of the country. I recommend to use a fish kind like shark to prepare this curry. Well, you can use any kind of fish that has stiffer meat texture. For your information, Sri Lankans use either Shark or Sail fish (Thalapath) or Rock fishes as their choice for this recipe.
- 900g or 2lbs of Shark – Cleaned and cut into cubes
- ¾ a cup of scraped coconut
- 1 ½ tsp of raw rice
- ½ a medium sized onion – finely sliced
- 4 – 5 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
- 2 spikes of curry leaves
- ½ tsp of finely chopped ginger
- 1 ½ tsps. of bridle berry (Goraka) paste
- 1 tbsp. of roasted curry powder
- 1 tsp of red chili powder
- ½ to ¾ of tsp of black pepper powder
- Pandan leaves (few pieces)
- A small stick of cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups of light coconut milk (“Diya Kiri”) or 1 ¼ cups of water
- 2 cups of thicker coconut milk (“Miti Kiri”)
If using condensed coconut milk, dilute it with water at 1:2 ratio or 1: 2.5 ratio (Con.coco:water). It really depends on the thickness of the product you have. Just make sure that its consistency is almost the same or only slightly thicker than 3.25% regular cows’ milk that we consume. And that not thicker or thinner than that consistency. For your information; Sri Lankans normally extract coconut milk by repeatedly hand-squeezing scraped coconut + water. They call the first batch of the extracted milk “miti kiri” or thicker milk. So remember, in Ceylonese culinary, “thicker coconut milk” is not referred to the consistency of condensed coconut milk.
- 3 – 4 tbsp. of cooking oil (coconut oil or any other oil of preference)
Black-Roasted coconut mix:
First, under low-to-medium heat level, start to stir roast coconut and rice. Then, after about two minutes, bring in ¼ of the chopped garlic, 1 spike of curry leaves and ¼ of the sliced onions and continue to stir roast until the coconut turn to dark brown. Remember, it is really important to stir continuously and rigorously in order to prevent over roasting the coconut.
After, let the mix to cool down and grind the mixture either with a pestle and mortar or an electric grinder.
In a bowl, combine fish, bridle berry paste and salt. Normally, I start with around ¾ tsp of salt and adjust for my taste at the end. Then, warm the oil under medium heat level and start tempering onions, curry leaves, cinnamon and pandan leaves. Then, after about 2 minutes, bring in garlic and ginger.
Now, soon as the garlic starts to give its ravishing smell, lower the heat and add curry powder, black pepper and chili powder and rapidly stir fry for 5 seconds. Then, add the prepared coconut mix and water or light coconut milk. Now, increase the heat and let the content boil for about a minute. After, add the marinated fish and then thicker coconut milk respectively about 30 seconds after the fish. Now, once the curry has been at the boiling point for about 3 minutes, lower the heat to medium level and simmer for about 15 minutes. Ha, remember to frequently stir throughout.