Fish Curry Rice is considered the Goans traditional dish, cooked and prepared in every household, poor and rich.
Mackerels are the most common fish eaten with the rice and curry, for one it is a cheaper fish, easy to clean with fewer fish bones and a very tasty one indeed.
Fish curry and rice are prepared nearly every day in local houses and most of the time extras such as vegetables (bhaji – भाजी ) or pickles are added, served.
A practiced tongue might taste differences between local Christian, Hindu and Muslim curry.
Christian’s tend to cook it sweeter maybe more tangy, while the Hindus and Muslims more pungent spicy curries prepare.
That’s an individual preference choice.
Since we are Christians and this recipe my mother in laws is, I ‘ll show you how to prepare the Christian fish curry rice with fried Mackerels, pumpkin bhaji & Aubergine Pickle.
Traditional Fish Curry serves 6
1 cup peeled deveined small prawns or 6 slices mackerel fish
4 green chilies, seeded
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups grated coconut (tightly packed)
1 Tbs Coriander Seeds
1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
6 cloves Garlic
8 red, dried chilies
4 Pepper Corns
1/2 inch pcs Ginger
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tbs Tamarind Pulp
3 Cups Warm Water
Start with cleaning, washing and patting dry prawns or fish and mix with salt, green chilies, onion and keep aside.
Combine all the rest of the ingredients, except the tamarind pulp, and make into 2 lots, – putting each lot into the blender or grinder in turn, and extracting the spiced coconut milk by putting it through a fine sieve.
When you have squeezed out every drop of liquid from the ground coconut mixture, add another 1/2 cup of warm water to the coconut mixture and put into the blender or grinder once more, then through the sieve, so that all the milk has been extracted.
Now put the coconut extract into a deep pan on medium heat and stir cook for 30 min., till the sauce becomes thick.
Add the marinated prawns or fish and the tamarind pulp to the boiling sauce. Stir cook, adding more salt if necessary.
Cook for ~30 min, when the fish curry is reduced to half its quantity, remove the curry and put into a serving dish.
I like to eat Basmati rice, which is quite common in the western worlds, locals use locally grown rice with their fish curry. Boil the rice, ratio rice: water 1:3; (1 cup of uncooked rice = 3 cups boiled rice & 1/2 cup uncooked rice p/Person)
Fried Mackerels filled with red paste
1-2 Mackerels p/Person, Cleaned & washed (the smaller the tastier)
Red masala paste – 1 big Jar
40 red, dried chillies, cut into rough pcs
20 cloves garlic, chopped
3 inch pcs ginger, chopped
2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp peppercorns
4 pcs Cinnamon
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup vinegar
Cut the Mackerels into the sides in, as seen on the photos, so that we can fill in little paste just before frying. Salt the fish and keep aside.
The paste can be made anytime, a different day too and can be stored for weeks in the fridge.
You make it once and use it over the weeks, that’s how everyone does it and saves you time when you use it to marinate fish or even prawns.
It is used in most of the Goan seafood dishes.
Clean and cut the chilies, garlic, and ginger.
Put all the ingredients into a grinder or blender and make it into a fine paste.
Use a little more Water if necessary, the paste should be thick! Bottle and refrigerate for later use.
Once the paste ground and ready for use, take 1 mackerel and fill as shown underneath little paste into the cut in slits of the fish.
Keep a frying pan with cooking hot oil ready and fry the fish both sides for 10 min, till soft and ready.
Pumpkin Bhaji – Serves 6
~700 gm sweet Pumpkin – cut into 1 inch sized cubes
1 large Onion, sliced
1 large Tomato, sliced
3 Tbs Veg Oil
3 green chili, chopped
1 tsp black Peppercorn
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 green cardamon pods, crushed
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 star anise
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Cup Coconut, grated
2 whole dried red chili
1/4 cup water
Fry the onion translucent in a pot and add the tomato, fry 3 more min.
Now add all the pumpkin cubes and 1/4 cup water (not too much, because the pumpkin looses lots of liquid), cook for 5 mins covered.
Add the grated coconut and all the spices, and mix it well into the veg mix., cook 15 mins uncovered till the spices aroma blend into the finished cooked pumpkin cubes.
Keep aside or serve.
Aubergine Pickle 1 Big Jar
1 kg Aubergine, 1 inch cubed
1/2 cup salt
100 gms Garlic = 4 pods Garlic
100 gms Ginger = 2 ginger ~2inch long
1 tbs mustard seeds
2 cups Veg Oil
25 Green Chillies, 12 chopped fine & 12 added to the grinder
1 flat tbs Turmeric Powder
1 cub sugar
2 cups vinegar
The cubed aubergines and 1/2 cup salt have to be kept overnight in a pot, closed with a lid and a weight on the lid cover.
That will help to take out all the access water from the Aubergine, to dry them out.
The next day grinds all the above-mentioned spices together in a blender to a thick paste, reserving half amount chopped chilies for later use.
Heat the oil in a pan and stir fry the grounded spices and previously reserved green chilies for 5 mins.
Now add the dried aubergine to the paste mixture and cook for ~20 mins uncovered.
cool the cooked aubergine and fill into a jar.
Store it in a cool place and it can be used over months without getting spoiled.
All the pastes should be preferably made in advance, 1 Jar can be stored for months, and used whenever you need it.
The Goan kitchen is all about tangy sweet pastes, and sometimes pungent too.
A little Food trip of its own!
Spices and Coconuts are always blended and scraped freshly, which definitely enhances the natural taste of dishes.
Of course, ready ground spices and scraped coconut are available, everywhere in the world in markets nowadays and can be used for the above-mentioned dishes.
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