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Pomfret Fish Curry Chettinad Style

Prep Time: 20-25 mins I Marinating Time: 1hr. I Cooking Time: 45-50 mins. I Serve: 3 - 4



Pomfret Fish Curry Chettinad Style has a unique flavor of pomfret fish, tastes even more delicious and serves as an awesome treat for fish lovers. Spicy and tasty fish curry made in chettinadu style with special chettinad masala is one of the Spiciest and Aromatic dishes in Chettinadu Cuisine. Use of fresh coconut, shallots, curry leaves, spices and tamarind extract make it simply irresistible in taste. Serve this delicious and full of flavour south Indian delicacy along with Idiyappam's or piping hot steamed rice and some vadai. I am sure it's a perfect meal for any seafood lover. Enjoy!



Ingredients :-


For marinating :-


1 kg/2.2 lb. Pomfret (wash thoroughly and pat dry)

1 tsp. Turmeric Powder

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Red Chili Powder

1 tsp. Coconut/Vegetable Oil


For Whole Spice Powder :-


1.5 tsp. Cumin Seeds

1.5 tsp. Black Peppercorns

5-6 Cloves

½ inch Cinnamon Stick

3 Green Cardamom

4-5 Red Chilies (whole & dried)



For Wet Masala Paste :-


1 tbsp. Coconut Oil

12-13 Garlic Cloves (peeled)

1 inch Ginger(peeled)

2 Onions, med size (roughly sliced)

½ cup Fresh Coconut Chunks (skin removed and thinly sliced)

½ cup/115 ml Tamarind Pulp (tamarind without seeds, lemon sized ball soaked in ¾ cup of lukewarm water for 30 minutes. After 30 mins squeeze out the extract) Divided equally

Water (if required)



For Curry :-


3 tbsp. Coconut Oil

1 Sprig/7-8 Fresh Curry Leaves

1 cup/15-16 Shallots, med-size (peeled & washed)

Wet Onion Masala Paste

2 Tomatoes, med-size (grind to purée)

1 tsp. Turmeric Powder

Salt to taste

Whole Spice Powder

2.5 cup/600 ml Hot Water



Process :-


For Marinating :-


Add all the ingredients mentioned under the marinating list ingredients to the bowl one by one. Rub and coat the fish evenly, cover it and set aside to marinate for 1 hr


For Whole Spice Powder :-


Add all the ingredients mentioned under the whole spices powder list to the non-stick pan one by one. Dry roast the spices on low flame for next 5-7 mins until fragrant. Switch off the gas and allow the whole spices to cool down. Once cold add the roasted whole spices to the grinder jar. Close the lid of the jar tightly and grind to a fine powder. Set aside for later use


For Wet Masala Paste :-


Heat the oil in a non-stick pan on a low-medium flame. Add garlic cloves + ginger + onions to the pan. Stir for 4-5 mins on low medium flame


Next add sliced coconut to the pan and stir again for next 5-6 mins on low medium flame until onion and coconut color changes to light golden brown. Then switch off the flame and allow the masala to cool down


Once cold, transfer the masala + half of the tamarind pulp to the grinder jar. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if required. Close the lid of the jar tightly and grind it to a smooth paste. Set aside


For Curry :-


Heat the oil on a low-medium flame in a clay vessel/pan. Once hot, add curry leaves and shallots to the pan and sauté for 5-7 minutes on low-medium flame until translucent . Stir in regular intervals for even cooking


Next, add the wet masala/onion paste to the pan and stir continuously for next 8-10 mins on low-medium flame until the onion color changes to light golden brown

Add tomato purée to the pan/vessel and stir for next 4-5 mins on low-medium flame

Add turmeric powder + salt to the pan. Mix well and and stir continuously for next 8-10 mins on low-medium flame until masala gets thicker and excess water evaporates


Next, add the whole spice powder(grinded earlier) to the pan mix well and stir continuously for next 4-5 mins on low-medium flame until the oil gets released from the masala


Add hot water to the pan and mix well. Allow it to boil for next 3-4 mins without covering. Next add the marinated fish to the pan/vessel and mix gently. Cover and cook for 8-10 mins on low flame until gravy thickens


After 10-12 mins remove the lid and check if the gravy has thickened enough and the fish is cooked properly or not? If yes, then switch off the gas


Adjust the salt level & gravy thickness to taste


Time to Taste:)


Serve with steamed rice, poriyal, pickle etc.


Tip: do not stir the fish while cooking or else it will break:)


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