Delicious Spicy and Flavorful Mangalore Fish Curry(made from Byadgi Chillies and Kokum extract)

Delicious Spicy and Flavorful Mangalore Fish Curry(made from Byadgi Chillies and Kokum extract)

Mangalore Fish Curry made from Byadgi Chillies and Kokum extract is a delicious flavorful fish curry of Bunt cuisine. The main ingredients are Byadgi chilli and kokum extract, that makes this curry delicious, flavorful and aromatic. I have added a twist in this traditional fish curry by tempering it with bay leaf, green cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon.

Bunts are a community from Karnataka, India who have mostly settled in the Southern part of South Kanara from Udupi to Kasargod. This recipe is inspired by my mother-in-law who belongs to the Bunt community. Over the years, the women of the house have perfected the art of creating delicious curries, fry ups or dry dishes using ground spice pastes or powdered spice blends, all to suit the flavor and texture of the fish at hand. The Bunts use coconut and locally grown chilies in their cuisine to create dishes with very distinctive flavors.

The deep red color of the fish curry comes from ‘Bunt Chilli powder’ also known as the ‘Bunt Thal da Podi’ or ‘Kundapur or Badakai Chilli Powder’ which is a roasted blended spice powder of byadgi chilli, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, turmeric and dried garlic.

Mangalore Fish Curry(made from Byadgi Chillies and Kokum extract)
Byadagi chilli is also known for its deep red color and is less spicy. It is very much similar to Paprika. They are long, deep red, mildly pungent, and wrinkled.

The sourness of the curry comes from the Kokum extract. Garcinia indica or kokum is a fruit tree and dark in color, purple to black, sticky and with curled edges. The outer cover of fruit when dried in the sun is called aamsul or kokam. A few dry pieces are soaked in water for some time and then the pieces are mashed in the water itself and can be taken in whole. This is similar to the tamarind extract and hence kokum extract is used as a substitute for tamarind in many dishes.

Kokum , kokam extract

The steps to the recipe are as follows as shown in the video below :

 

:

  1. Wash and soak dry kokum is about 1/4 cup water for atleast 20 minutes. Squeeze the kokum in presoaked water, extract its water and discard the kokum residue. This is the kokum extract which when added to food imparts a pink to purple color and sour taste.
  2. Dry roast Byadgi chillies,coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek seeds for bunt chilli powder. Allow it to cool and then grind it into a fine powder along with turmeric powder and garlic powder. Keep it aside.
  3. Wash and clean the fish pieces with cold water. Pat it dry and then apply oil, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon bunt chilli powder and a pinch of salt. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Meantime, prepare the curry masala. Heat a kadai or wok. Add oil. When the oil is hot, add bay leaf, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and asafetida. Sauté at low heat for 5 minutes till you feel the aroma of the spices. 
  5. Now add the chopped onions, curry leafs, ginger garlic, and the green chillies. Saute at medium high heat till the onions becomes soft, brown and translucent.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, bunt chili powder and little salt into the wok. Add a little water to avoid the masala sticking to the pan. Cover and cook at low medium heat till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  7. Stir and mix and sauté the tomato mixture till you see specks of oil leaving the pan.
  8. Add a cup of water into the pan along with the salt and kokum extract. Cover and allow the curry to gently boil for 4-5 minutes.
  9. Remove the cover and do a quick tasting. Adjust the sourness if needed, and add bunt chili powder or salt if required.
  10. Add the fish pieces flat in a single layer, gently move the ladle along the sides to swirl gravy over the fish pieces. Cover and cook for further 8-11 minutes on medium high flame till fish is cooked.
  11. Turn off the heat. Garnish the fish curry with fresh coriander leaves and serve it hot with steamed rice.

    Mangalore Fish Curry made from Byadgi Chillies and Kokum extract
    Mangalore Fish Curry made from Byadgi Chillies and Kokum extract

 

 

Delicious Spicy and Flavorful Mangalore Fish Curry(made from Byadgi Chillies and Kokum extract)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Karnataka
Serves: 3 people
Ingredients
  • 5-6 medium size fish pieces (I used Swai fillets, Traditionally we use Mackerel or Pomfret fish)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder( to marinade the fish)
  • ¼ tsp bunt chilli powder(to marinade the fish)
  • 2 teaspoon refined oil( to marinade the fish) + 1 tablespoon for tempering
  • salt as required
  • 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves or 1 tsp of curry leaf powder
  • 3-4 slit green chillies
  • knob of ginger finely chopped or ground
  • 4-6 garlic cloves finely chopped or ground
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 4 Kokum( presoaked in ¼ cup water)
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leafs(for garnishing)
  • 1 tbsp Bunt chilli powder or To make Bunt chilli powder :
  • 20 Byadgi chillies
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • ⅛ tsp fenugreek seeds(methi seeds)
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • For Tempering :
  • dash of hing or asafoetida
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch of cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
Instructions
  1. Dry roast Byadgi chillies,coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek seeds for bunt chilli powder. Allow it to cool and then grind it into a fine powder along with turmeric powder and garlic powder. Keep it aside.
  2. Wash and clean the fish pieces with cold water. Pat it dry and then apply oil, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon bunt chilli powder and a pinch of salt. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Meantime, prepare the curry masala. Heat a kadai or wok.Add oil. When the oil is hot, add bay leaf, cardamon pods, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and asafoetida. Saute at low heat for 5 minutes till you feel the aroma of the spices.
  4. Now add the chopped onions, curry leafs, ginger garlic, and the green chillies. Saute at medium high heat till the onions becomes soft, brown and translucent.
  5. Add the choppped tomatoes, bunt chilli powder and little salt into the wok. Add a little water to avoid the masala sticking to the pan. Cover and cook at low medium heat till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  6. Stir and mix and saute the tomato mixture till you see specks of oil leaving the pan.
  7. Squeeze the kokum in presoaked water, extract its water and discard the kokum residue. This is the kokum extract which when added to food imparts a pink to purple colour and sour taste.
  8. Add a cup of water into the pan along with the salt and kokum extract. Cover and allow the curry to gently boil for 4-5 minutes.
  9. Remove the cover and do a quick tasting. Adjust the sourness if needed, and add bunt chilli powder or salt if required.
  10. Add the fish pieces flat in a single layer, gently move the ladle along the sides to swirl gravy over the fish pieces. Cover and cook for further 8-11 minutes on medium high flame till fish is cooked.
  11. Turn off the heat. Garnish the fish curry with fresh coriander leaves and serve it hot with steamed rice.

 

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