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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Singaporean Fish Head Curry - Indian Style


          I usually prepare fish head curry - Bengali style, either with lentils, veggies or rice. But today I tried it the Singaporean style and it turned out simply delicious. This is the Indian version of this popular fish curry, cooked in coconut milk, tamarind water and along with some veggies thrown in. It is best enjoyed with plain steamed rice. For my version, please check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.






          This dish brought back some lovely memories of my stay in Singapore a couple of years back. I had the privilege of tasting this delicacy at Muthu's restaurant, where it has originated. There are a lot of versions to this dish. It is prepared with lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, chinese cabbage in the Chinese style and in the Malay version, prawn paste and galangal are added.

          I gave some twist to the original version in the sense I have made use of Rohu fish head instead of the Red Snapper fish head that is traditionally used. Moreover I have fried the fish head first, a la Bengali style, before dropping it into the gravy. But one thing is for sure, whatever way it is cooked it is just awesome. 



  • 1 Rohu fish head / Red Snapper fish head
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 3-4 slit green chilies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 1tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste mixed with 1 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 2 baby eggplants / 1 long eggplant, sliced lengthwise
  • 4-5 okra, cut into half
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves to garnish






          Marinate the fish head with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 10-15 minutes. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry them till golden in colour. Drain and keep aside.

          Heat remaining oil and temper with mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Allow it to splutter.

          Add the curry leaves, garlic, asafoetida and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds. Then add the onion and continue to fry till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry well.

          Add the tomato paste and all the dry spices. Fry on a medium flame till the oil separates. Add the tamarind water and bring it to a boil. 

          Add the okra and eggplants and simmer, covered on a low flame till they are half done. Now add the coconut milk and bring it to a boil. 

          Drop in the fried fish head. Cover and continue to simmer for a further 2 minutes or till the oil starts to rise on the top. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.





                        Marinate the fish head with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 
                        10-15 minutes. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry them till golden in 
                        colour. Drain and keep aside.




                         Heat remaining oil and temper with mustard seeds, fennel seeds, 
                         fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Allow it to splutter.




                      Add the curry leaves, garlic, asafoetida and green chilies. Saute for a
                      few seconds. 




                                Then add the onion and continue to fry till light brown. 




                                Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry well.




                                Add the tomato paste and.....




                           .......all the dry spices. Fry on a medium flame till the oil separates.




                               Add the tamarind water and bring it to a boil. 




                                Add the okra and eggplants and simmer, 




                                covered on a low flame till they are half done. 




                               Now add the coconut milk and bring it to a boil. 




                         Drop in the fried fish head. Cover and continue to simmer for a 
                         further 2 minutes....




                          ......or till the oil starts to rise on the top. Serve, garnished with 
                          coriander leaves.













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