This is so yummy, and so simple as far as Indian food goes. The whole spices are just fried in the oil for one minute, which flavors the oil and consequently the whole dish. When I made it a few weeks ago I added slightly different spices to it. My dad says its just as delicious without any spices, so you can omit them if you'd like but my dad's a damn fine cook so if I were you I would just try it his way. He emailed me this recipe.
Fish Curry – Andhra Style – as learnt from my Mom
900 Grams of Fish (I used a package of Basa fillets. Salmon steaks also work well)
4 to 6 cloves of garlic – crushed
3 or 4 medium onions – Chopped fine
Knob of Ginger – about 2.5 cm long – grated
6 to 12 Curry Leaves
1 dry red chili – seeded
1⁄2 tsp fenugreek Seeds – Ground
A pinch of Hing (Asafetida)
1 Tomato – Chopped
Small Stick of Cinnamon
3 or 4 pods of Cardamom – Bruised
1⁄2 can of Thick Coconut Milk
2 Green Chilies – I used Serrano Chilies – seeded and sliced fine
1⁄4 cup of Chopped Cilantro
Rub fish pieces with salt and turmeric (a little turmeric goes a long way). Prepare the Onion, Garlic and Ginger. Heat the oil in a large fry-pan and fry the fish till it is a light golden brown. Set aside. In the same pan add the dry red chili an fry till slightly blackened. Add the powdered fenugreek seeds, Hing and curry leaves and fry for a little while longer till the aromas are released. Be careful not to burn the Fenugreek. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry over a medium heat till the onions are a golden brown. This takes patience but you will be rewarded with sweet caramelized onions. Do not burn the mixture or your sauce will be bitter. Add the tomato and cook till most of the water evaporates. Add the whole spices, coconut milk and cook till the mixture thickens. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat. Add the fish and stir very gently to coat the fish with the mixture. Cook for a few minutes. Add the green chilies and cilantro and cook for a minute longer and serve with hot rice.
By K.S. Sharma
When I made it, I omitted the curry leaves and fenugreek and added 5 cloves and about 8 peppercorns. I also fried all the spices in the oil at once. It was very delicious.