Ikan Assam Surani (Fish Cooked in Sour and Savoury Gravy)
Serves 6 to 8 MEDIUM
This tangy and savoury mackerel fish curry hits all the right notes and will leave you wanting more.
1 Spanish mackerel, cut into 4 pieces, or
any oily fish (800g to 1kg)
30g shrimp paste, toasted
20g turmeric, peeled
5 tbsp tamarind paste, mixed with 800ml
water then strained
6 dried tamarind flowers (assam gelugur)*, soaked in warm water for about 20 mins
Juice from 5 limes
5 tbsp sugar
Salt, to taste
For the spice mix
5 tbsp cooking oil
15 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced 8 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only,
8 red chillies, thinly sliced
1. Prepare the spice mix. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Place shallots and garlic into the wok and fry till golden brown.
2. Add lemongrass and chillies and cook till fragrant. Remove the ingredients from the pan and set aside. Drain the oil and reserve separately.
3. Combine shrimp paste and turmeric in a blender till smooth.
4. Add reserved oil from Step 2 back into the wok and fry the shrimp-turmeric paste over medium-low heat till fragrant, about 10 mins.
5. Add the strained tamarind liquid, dried tamarind flowers and lime juice to the wok, and bring to boil over lowmedium heat. Add sugar and salt and boil for another 5 mins.
6. Add fish to the wok and cook over low heat till fish is cooked.
7. Add the reserved spice mix to the wok and let it cook for another 5 mins, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
* Dried tamarind flowers are available at most wet markets.
Ikan Assam Surani