Varutharacha Fish curry / Fish in roasted coconut gravy

Varutharacha Fish curry 1

Ingredients(Serves 3 - 4):

Fish                                         --    ½ kg
Shallots                                 --   5 - 6 finely chopped
Ginger                                    --   2 tbsp, chopped finely
Garlic                                     --   7 - 8 cloves, chopped finely
Green chillies                     --   2 , adjust according to your spice level.
Tomato                                 --   1 medium size
Kudam puli                         --   2 (Or you can use a small gooseberry sized ball of tamarind) , soaked in water for 5 - 10 minutes
Turmeric powder             --   1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder             --   ½ tsp
Coriander seeds                --   1 tbsp
Whole Red Chilly              --   3 - 4 (The coriander seeds and whole red chillies can be replaced with 1 tbsp of  coriander powder and ½ tbsp of chilly powder. I have the Coriander – Chilly powder mix( 2 tbsp)  which I use mostly) 
Whole Pepper                     --   1 tsp
Grated Coconut                 --   1 cup
Mustard seeds                    --   ½ tsp
Curry leaves                        --   2 - 3 springs
Coconut Oil                          --   1 tbsp
Salt                                          --   to taste


Fry the shredded coconut with coriander seeds, whole red chillies, whole pepper, 1 shallot, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 sprig of curry leaves,  until coconut is brown in colour. Make sure you do this on a low flame and keep saute-ing as we need the coconut to be evenly fried and browned.
Remove it from the stove as soon as it is done as there are chances that the coconut burns in the pan. If using coriander and chilly powders, add them a minute before switching off the flame and mix it well with the coconut.

Let it cool and grind it to a fine paste/liquid form (check here and here).

Clean and cut the fish and keep aside.

Varutharacha Fish curry

In a clay pot, add the shallots, remaining garlic, ginger, slit green chillies, chopped tomatoes,salt, turmeric powder and red chilly powder. Mix well preferably with your hands until it is blended well and the tomatoes are slightly squishy. Optionally you can saute on low flame until these are well mixed and looks squishy. Add the soaked kudam puli with the water(or the tamarind pulp) and let it boil.
Add the ground mixture and mix . Let is boil.

Add the fish pieces and carefully stir in or swirl the pot so that the fish pieces are coated with the gravy. Let it cook and switch off the flame once done.

In another small pan, heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the curry and saute for couple of seconds and pour this on top of the curry.

Varutharacha Fish curry 2

Serve hot with rice. This goes well with chapathi / idly / dosa / puttu etc too.