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Fried Shark with Tuticorin Curry Paste Recipe

12241663_761589150635950_2975336262619532107_nToday’s dish draws inspiration from a very traditional spice paste used in Tuticorin. This deliciously aromatic spice paste is often used as a marinade for fried fish and also as a base for seafood curries in the cuisine of the region.

In this recipe, the shark pieces are shallow fried and then tossed through the curry paste along with onions and tomatoes resulting in a mouth watering starter dish or the perfect addition to a thali.

Ingredients:
1. 600 gms shark fillet; cubed into even pieces
2. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
3. Salt, to season
4. Vegetable oil
5. 2 tbsp Tuticorin curry paste (adjust to heat preferences)
6. ¼ tsp sugar
7. 1 medium onion, cubed
8. 1 medium tomato, cubed
9. 2 sprigs coriander leaves; finely chopped

To prepare Tuticorin curry paste:
1. 8 medium garlic cloves
2. 2 inch ginger
3. 2 tsp red chilli powder
4. 1 tsp turmeric powder
5. 2 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
6. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
7. ½ tsp black pepper powder
8. 1 tsp mustard seeds
9. 2 tbsp cider vinegar or regular white vinegar
10. 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:
To prepare Tuticorin curry paste:
• Grind all the ingredients except oil along with a bit of water to make a fine paste.
• Heat vegetable oil in a flat pan and add the ground paste. Sauté on low heat till the spice paste becomes aromatic, absorbs all the oil and comes together. This takes about 3-4 minutes; make sure to keep it on low and not burn.
• Cool and store in an airtight container.

To prepare the dish:
• Marinate the shark pieces with turmeric powder and salt; keep aside for 15 minutes.
• Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish pieces till done. Keep aside
• In the same pan, add the diced onions and sauté for 30 seconds on high heat. Keep aside.
• Add a little more oil if necessary and add 2 tbsp of the curry paste. Add ½ cup water, a pinch of sugar and bring to boil. Reduce to a thicker consistency and add the shark pieces.
• Cook till the sauce coats well on the shark pieces; then add the onion and diced tomatoes. Mix well to combine and season with salt if necessary. (Do not overcook or the onions and tomatoes will go mushy)
• Garnish with coriander leaves and serve warm.
Note – You can use this curry paste as a marinade for fried or grilled fish. It can also be used to make a delicious fish curry, especially with the addition of coconut milk.

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