Mum has a lot of curry and assam dishes and this is one of my favorite. I don't know if it is the tamarind in the recipe that really makes this dish so appetizing for me as I could eat platefuls of rice with just the curry gravy. I can do without the fish or any of the rest of the accompaniments for it is the gravy that I like.
Mum cooked that for us 2 weekends ago and she was rattling off the ingredients and method of doing it. Apparently you can use any type of fish or fish fillet for this dish, but most of the time, garoupas and pomfrets are used. I used the bawal hitam (promfret) for the dish.
Apparently this curry dish tastes better overnight but sometimes, there just isn't any left at the end of the meal to be kept for the next meal even, let alone the next day :).
This is mum's version of the Assam Fish Curry.
1 large bawal hitam (pomfret) cut into slices about an inch thick
10 pieces of okra (ladies fingers)
2 tbsp of assam jawa (tamarind paste). Soak this in 2 cups of warm water and strain, keeping the juice only
3-4 stalks of daun kesom (polygonum)
1 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
3-4 stalks of lemon grass (white part only)
1 tbsp of sugar
salt to taste
3 tbsp of oil
1 clove garlic
8-10 dried chillies (depends how spicy you like)
1/2 tablespoon of belacan (prawn paste - optional as some people don't like this)
- Blend the paste ingredients in a food processor and set aside.
- Heat up 3 tbsp of oil in the wok and put in the blended paste and fry until fragrant
- Add in the tamarind juice, curry powder, turmeric powder, lemon grass stalks and bring to a boil.
- Add in the okras and the daun kesom.
- Add in the fish and about 2000ml of water
- Simmer on low heat until the fish is cook
- Add in the sugar and salt to taste.
- Best eating with steaming hot rice on a rainy evening