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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spicy Fish Curry ~Surmai Khatta Mirchi - Guest Recipe by Balkis Banu

South Indian Style Fish Curry
Spicy Fish Curry

This recipe of Spicy Fish Curry is prepared and contributed to my blog by my Mother in law, Mrs. Balkis Banu, my guest chef for today. As you can see that rustic earthen pot, which she has preserved with her just to make the most delicious and delectable fish curries. I just do not need to mention about her cooking talents as you have seen that most of the recipes on this blog have been taught by her. I also take pleasure in saying that whatever she cooks turns out to be finger licking good. She is the most active and productive person I have ever known, with a good sense of time management. Her kitchen, as well as her house, is sparkling clean at all times of the day. A very organized person with a kind and generous heart, as no one can ever leave her house without having a good meal. In her early days, she was so enthusiastic about cooking that she would attend cooking classes and could bake cakes and cookies even without a proper oven. I am very grateful and consider myself lucky to have such a wonderful person in my life as my second mother. 

The list goes I am still learning a lot of things from her, not only in terms of cooking but many of her great virtues to lead a simple selfless life.

Spicy Fish Curry ~ Surmai Khatta Mirchi
Spicy Fish Curry

Spicy Fish Curry also is known as 'Khatta Mirchi' in Mangalore among the Urdu speaking community, is a classic recipe for a traditional curry. It gets it color mainly from dry red chilies and also from ripe red tomatoes, just to balance the spice and to give it a good consistency. The secret of this curry lies in the homemade chili paste, which can be prepared and preserved in the refrigerator for almost a month. The same chili paste can be used for frying fish or chicken. The technique involved here is 'slow cooking method' and once the fish is added to the curry, no spoon is used for stirring. Instead of that, the pot is gently swirled around for moving the fish pieces to coat well with the spices.

Surmai Khatta Mirchi
Spicy Fish Curry

Spicy Fish Curry ~ Surmai Khatta Mirchi
Spicy Fish Curry

Recipe Source: Balkis Banu

Spicy Fish Curry ~Surmai Khatta Mirchi

A traditional way of preparing fish curry with red chili and tomato as a base, cooked in an earthen pot for enhanced flavors.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour approx
1 cup = 250 ml capacity
Serves 5


500 gms of any fish of ur choice./mackeral/hammour/king fish
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 green chili finely chopped
7 curry leaves finely chopped
3 tablespoon homemade red chili paste*
1/2 cup tamarind soaked water
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
4 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt

*Homemade red chili paste: (Grind to a fine paste)
10 long dry red chilies soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
1 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon methi seeds roasted (fenugreek seeds)
10 curry leaves
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
Water for grinding


1. Sprinkle a handful of salt over the fish and clean thoroughly.
2. Prepare the homemade red chili paste.
3. Heat cooking oil in a saucepan and fry 1 medium onion chopped, chopped ginger & garlic, chopped green chilies and curry leaves.
4. Then add chopped tomatoes and fry till it softens.
5. Add the 3 tbsp of red chili paste and fry for 2 minutes. Followed by tamarind water, salt and 1 cup of water. (or add more water according to the desired consistency).
6. When the gravy starts boiling add fish pieces, chopped coriander leaves and 3 tbsp of coconut oil.
7. Cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat.
8. Let it remain covered for 1 hour before serving.

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  1. I am staring at the color of that gravy... so beautiful! Looks like a nice spicy curry, will be awesome with a bowl of rice... yum!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This article help me. Thank your for sharing.