500 gram(s) lady fish cleaned and cut into two pieces each
1 onion(s) finely chopped
2 tablespoon(s) coconut oil
salt to taste
Grind to a fine paste:
1 medium coconut grated
8 dry red chillies roasted in coconut oil
1 tablespoon(s) tamarind paste
water as required
Combine the ground paste, lady fish pieces and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add water (to make a gravy of a thinner consistency if desired) and mix gently. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or till the fish is cooked and the gravy is thick. Do not overcook the lady fish because the pieces may disintegrate.
Heat the oil in a pan till hot. Add the chopped onions and saute on medium-low heat till it is medium browned. Do not allow it to brown too much. Pour the onions on the curry (do not mix). Cover tightly. While serving, swirl the vessel gently so as to mix the onions in the gravy.
Traditionally, coconut oil is a must. However, it can be substituted with any other cooking oil.
When cooking fish, it is always a good idea to swirl the vessel carefully and slowly so as to mix the fish with the gravy once it is cooked. Mixing can be done gently with a spatula, although sometimes cooked fish tends to disintegrate.
There is an abundance of coconuts on the Mangalore coast, so naturally the Mangaloreans are liberal in using coconuts and simply love their gravies to be thick and spicy. Therefore, thicker the gravy, more delicious it is!