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Fish Head Curry Recipe ... My favourite - Spicy and Delicious !
Fish Head Curry is a popular dish among Malaysians and Singaporeans. This South Indian dish was originally modified by a Singaporean chef to cater to the local customers’ taste. Chinese customers considered the fish head curry a specialty. Undoubtedly, I am a fish head curry lover too. Today, we can get a good variety of fish head curry. Not only the Indian, but Chinese, Malay and Peranakan or Nyonya serve their own variation of this recipe. The recipe below is closer to Indian version of fish head curry where more spices are added.
Generally, in this dish, the head of a red snapper (or Ikan Merah in Malay language) is semi-stewed in a Kerala style curry together with assorted vegetables such as okra (lady’s finger), brinjals, tomato and long bean. The gravy is thin and orange in colour. Tamarind or asam juice is often added to the spicy gravy so as to give it a sweet and sours taste.
Here is the recipe :
1 medium-sized red snapper (or threadfin) fish head
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp turmeric powder
6 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 stalk curry leaves
2 stalk of lemon grass
4 cloves whole garlic
2 tbsp turmeric powder
5 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp chilli powder
1-2 tbsp salt
200g tamarind (to be mixed with 1 cup of water and strained)
2 green chillies
2 cups water
3 lady’s finger
150 g long beans
250 g cabbage
10 pc of fried bean curd
250g grated coconut (or 1 cup of coconut milk)
Fresh parsley (for garnishing)
Part A : Ingredients Preparation
1) Remove the scales of the fish head and wash the fish thoroughly. Then brush the fish with 1 tbsp of turmeric powder and 1 tbsp of salt (Part A Ingredients). Rinse it.
2) Place the grated coconut into a bowl and add 1 cup of water, and strain through a sieve to obtain the coconut milk
3) Wash and cut the eggplants/brinjal into finger size (about 4 cm length) as shown in photo on the right.
4) Cut across green chillies
5) Peel the garlic skin
6) Cut the peeled onion into fine slices
7) Cut the tomato into half
8) Cut the lady’s finger into half
9) Wash and smash the lemon grass with a meat mallet or a heavy knife
10) Mix tamarind with 1 cup of water and strain for the tamarind juice
Part B : Cooking the Fish
1) In a big and deep pot (enough to contain the fish head and the gravy), pour in 6 tbsp of oil and heat up the oil.
2) When the oil is hot, add Part B ingredients in the order given above. Fry the mixture until the onions are soft and fragrant.
3) Mix the ingredients in Part C in a bowl. Add this mixture in the pot and let the thin curry gravy boil. Then simmer it for 10 to 15 minutes with low heat.
4) If the gravy thickened, then add some water.
5) Add the cut vegetables and fried bean curd in Part D and the fish head.
6) Simmer for another 10 to 20 minutes.
7) Finally, when the fish is cooked, add the coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.
8) Taste the gravy. If it is too spicy, add some sugar (starts with 1 tsp) according to your preferred taste.
9) Garnish the cooked curry with mint leaves before serving.
Consume it hot with steamed rice. Enjoy.
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