Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fish Head Curry

This fish head curry is the closest to what I can remember eating in Malaysia. The texture of the flesh from the fish head is so smooth and surprisingly there was quite a lot of flesh to eat.
As Mr Redneck did not like the idea of eating the head, I added fish fillet so he can enjoy the dish as well. Currently salmon fish head only cost me $4/kg - which is really cheap.

1 (500g) salmon or snapper fish head
200 g fish fillet (optional)
5 okra (ladies finger), halved
2 long slender brinjal, cut into 2" pieces
1 tomato quartered

1-2 Tbsp oil
2-3 sprig curry leaves
3 Tbsp Baba curry powder mix with 1 Tbsp water
2 cup water
1 Tbsp tamarind pulp soak in ½ cup water
½ cup thick coconut milk
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar

Spice paste (grind together)
5 garlic cloves
1 big onion
2 red chillies
1 piece (1") ginger root
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 stalk lemon grass

½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp mustard seed
¼ tsp fenugreek

1. Blanch the fish head in boiling water for about 3 minutes, then plunge in ice water for a few minutes.
2. Heat oil and fry spice paste and curry leaves over medium-low heat stirring frequently until fragrant (about 5 minutes).
3. Add the curry powder and continue stirring for 1 minute.
4. Add 1 cup of water and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of water, tamarind juice, coconut milk and eggplant and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the fish head and okra, bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until the fish is almost cooked ( about 3 minutes).
6. Add fish fillet and tomato and simmer until cooked (about 1-2 minutes).
7. Season with the salt and sugar.
8. Serve with rice.

Note :
1. Adding fish fillet means those that do not like eating fish head will still have fish to eat.
2. The cooking times are approximate. It will depend on how soft you like your vegies.

Tip :
1. I like adding chilli powder during cooking (if the dish needs further spicing) as the fiery nature of chillies can vary with different variety.
2. Wash the fish in a diluted solution of vinegar. It is supposed to take away the 'fishy' smell.

Recipe : The food of Singapore by Djoko Wibisone and David Wong (adapted)


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