Friday, June 29, 2012

Vegetarian fish curry (Chettinad saiva meen kulambu)

Chettinad cuisine is mostly known for its non-vegetarian specials but all the veggie lovers out there are going to love this fish(fake fish) curry,also this curry is a vegan delight.

For the fake fish:
Black eyed peas:1/4 cup
toor dal(pigeon peas) :1/4 cup
garlic:4 pods
fennel seeds:1 tsp
salt and red chili powder : as per taste
1 clean banana leaf for steaming

For the curry :
Onion: 1 large
tomato :2 medium
green chilies: 2
few curry leaves
mustard seed :1 tsp
fenugreek seed : few
juice of a lemon size tamarind
turmeric powder : 1/2tsp
coriander powder: 2 tsp
red chili powder: 1 tsp(adjust according to taste)

Method :
Preparation of the fish:

  • start by soaking the black eyed peas and toor dal for about 4 hrs
  • grind this into a paste along with four garlic cloves,1 tsp of fennel and 1tsp of red chili powder 
  • add salt and spread into a clean dry banana leaf as shown in the clip, leaving enough space on the corners. 
  • fold the leaf carefully into half ,insert a toothpick to hold this in place and steam cook for about 10-12 minutes 
  • remove from the steamer and slit the meat into fillet as shown in the picture above 
  • heat a non-stick pan, spray some oil and shallow fry the fillets .keep aside 
Preparation of the curry 
  • In a pan add some oil and saute the onions and fenugreek seeds .add green chilies,tomatoes,curry leaves and saute for few more minutes. 
  • add turmeric powder,coriander powder and chili powder .
  • cook until the tomatoes are mushy.
  • season with salt
  • add 1 cup of water and the tamarind juice soaked in water (approx 1 cup) and let boil for few minutes.
  • finally add the fillets and simmer for about 10 mintues 
  • serve with steaming rice .
This curry tastes even better when served the other day as the tamarind juice and spices are absorbed nicely by the fillets. 
Here is a quick video tutorial :

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