Porgy fish curry with raw mango and coconut, a delicious fish preparation that has the tartness of mango, creamy nuttiness of coconut and the killer aroma from sweet caramelized shallots in coconut oil. If that doesn't say food from tropical paradise I don't know what is !
- Which fish can I use other than Porgy?
- No ingredients substitutes ..why?
- How to know if the fish is fresh?
- Before using fresh whole fish -points to note
- How to pick a raw green mango?
Which fish can I use other than Porgy?
Any meaty/ fleshy fish that will not fall apart easily can be used for this recipe. I have personally tried with Mackerel / King fish, Big Sardines, Pomfret, Tilapia, Salmon etc. I am told Trout, Bluefish, Swordfish etc too would work well here.
I almost always offer ingredient substitutes but for this fish curry I would request you not to change anything and just follow this recipe to a T because this is by far the best a tart raw mango, coconut and shallot can do for the fish. Use any meaty/ fleshy fish. Fillet is fine but if you can get your hands on a whole fish then that would be best because the oils from the fresh fish with skin on elevates the quality of a dish. If you do not eat the fish head that's fine. You can discard it once the curry is cooked.
How to know if the fish is fresh?
- The fish should be firm, scales should be tightly packed and not missing portions.
- Should smell like ocean
- The eyes should not look cloudy or bloody but clear and shiny.
- Fish should not be slimy or have a fishy odor
- No blemish or bruises soft spots on touch.
- The gills should look red or pink not pale or grayish (You can see the gills when you lift the ear like things on the side of the fish)
Do not buy the fish if you see any of the above signs, most probably the catch is not fresh.
Before using fresh whole fish:
Assuming you have got the fish fully cleaned (fins, tail cut, scales and everything inside the stomach removed) But if you are going to keep the skin on then the metallic sheen on the fish would still be there and removing some of it will take off the strong fish smell. Use rock salt or any grainy salt and rub a few times on the skin and rinse it off well immediately.
Add some vinegar to the last rinse to reduce the fish smell or while marinating the fish add a few tsps of vinegar to the marinade that too helps. Here the ginger garlic is store bought and has a strong vinegar base hence I have not added extra.
Most American stores do not sell this unripe variety as there are no buyers for it. Head over to your nearest Indian store, produce aisle and pick bruise free, blemish free, really really rock hard. (It should not give in even the slightest bit - if it does that means the fruit is ripening inside in spite of the deceptive green color)
REMEMBER : The curry develops flavor as it sits so allow it to rest for 2-3 hours before serving. Typically we serve this curry at room temperature or slightly warmed up with steaming rice and other mild side dishes. Its a delicate dish so overcooking / too much reheating can make everything fall apart.
Porgy fish curry with raw mango and coconut
- 1 whole Porgy Fish (cleaned & cut 5 pieces)
For marination :
- 1 heaped tsp Chili powder (Use hot variety or as per tolerence)
- 1/3 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 spoon Ginger garlic paste store bought
- Salt (as per taste)
For grinding :
- 1 cup Freshly grated coconut
- 2 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder (Least hot variety) Just for color
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt (to taste)
For the curry :
- 2 inch piece Ginger
- 1 Green chili
- 10 Shallots/ small red onion (5 for seasoning)
- 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds whole
- Few sprigs Curry leaves
- Few tsps Coconut oil
- Mix all the ingredients given under marination and coat the fish pieces nicely and leave it in the refrigerator for 40 minutes or best overnight.
- Chop the shallots finely. Reserve 1/2 for seasoning.Peel the mango and cut into half moon size thick slices. Reserve a few pieces of peel to add to the curry (this brings out the mango aromas in the curry)
- Chop ginger finely and cut the green chili to big pieces.Grind the coconut, chili powder turmeric and salt to a fine paste and keep aside.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan and add coconut oil when that heats add the chopped ginger and saute. When the roasted aroma comes add the green chili, give it a minute then add the chopped shallots and curry leaves keep sauting until the shallots turn slightly brown.
- Now add the coconut paste mix everything together and add 2 cups of water (Enough to cover the fish while cooking). Cover with the lid and allow this mixture to come to a boil.
- Gently put the marinated fish pieces into the curry and scatter the mango pieces around it.Put the reserved mango peel too in to this. Cover and cook on medium to slightly low heat for 20 minutes. Check once or twice in between to make sure the fish is cooking evenly. As the curry cooks the coconut will thicken the curry.NOTE: Do not stir the fish pieces too hard as the pieces will fall apart and break.
- In a smaller pan heat some coconut oil and add fenugreek seeds. Allow this to become fragrant and slightly brown (not black and burnt) now add the shallots chopped and the curry leaves. When the shallot carmelizes season the whole thing with the oil on top of the Porgy fish curry. Keep aside for the flavors to mingle
- Serve Porgy fish curry with steaming rice and other side dishes such as lentils and greens. I have served here with Feild beans stir fry and moringa leaves stir fry.
Other seafood recipes to try are :
Hope you will give this Porgy fish curry recipe a try and fall in love.