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Hyderabadi Shahi Macchi Kurma Recipe

12246760_761589457302586_2219546815587423597_nOut of the Mughal kitchens came the indulgently rich and creamy shahi kurma. Influences of the Mughal cuisine can be found along the length and breadth of India, especially in Hyderabad.

Today, we have a seafood kurma. The foundation of this recipe is based on the traditional shahi kurma but the surprise ingredient here is the generous use of Kashmiri chillies which add not only a vibrant red hue to the dish but also takes the heat up a notch.

Any kind of seafood (fish varieties with a firm flesh, tiger prawns and lobsters) can be used for this deliciously creamy and flavourful kurma.

Ingredients:
1. 500 gm boneless fish, cut into medium sized pieces (I used Mahi Mahi fish for this recipe)
2. ½ tsp turmeric powder
3. 2 tbsp plain thick curd/yoghurt; beaten well
4. Saffron; a few strands soaked in 2 tbsp warm milk
5. 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
6. 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
7. 3 tbsp vegetable oil
8. Salt, to season
9. Juice of 1 lemon

Spice paste:
1. 6 Kashmiri red chillies, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
2. 1 tsp poppy seeds, soaked in a few tbsps of water for 30 minutes
3. 5 shallots/small onion
4. ½ inch ginger
5. 4 medium garlic cloves
6. 2 tsp roasted coriander seeds
7. ½ tsp cumin seeds
8. ¼ tsp garam masala
9. 10 blanched almonds; skin removed

Method:
1. Marinate the fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder; keep aside for 15 minutes.
2. Blend all the ingredients for the spice paste; add a few drops of water if necessary.
3. Heat ghee and oil in a wide pan; shallow fry the fish pieces till half done. Keep aside.
4. In the same pan, add the spice paste and sauté on low heat. Sauté till the spice paste browns lightly and gets aromatic. Do not hurry up this step as this lends the main flavour to the dish. Sauté for around 15 minutes on low heat.
5. Add the beaten yoghurt and mix in well. Next, add the saffron milk and mix thoroughly.
6. Add enough water to make a thick gravy. Bring to boil and then add the fish pieces.
7. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes (add more water if too thick).
8. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
9. Serve warm with steamed basmati rice, ghee rice or parathas.

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