Branzino fish curry is made with delicate white fish. Creamy coconut milk, tart dried gambooge with the caramelized small onion elevates the flavor to this seafood to the next level.
Fish curry is usually a staple in most coastal states in India adding locally available ingredients to get volume and thickness. Coconut, poppy seeds etc. Traditionally fresh caught fish is minimally spiced and cooked in clay pot that would impart an earthy flavor.
A home cooked seafood delicacy in Kerala is usually enjoyed with the traditional Kerala rice, some side dishes that can be spicy or mild and a spicy pickle. Here I have served it with tender Jackfruit mash(Chakka puzhukku). Cooked yucca root ( Kappa masala / Tapioca masala) tastes equally good.
Contents ( jump to )
- What is Branzino ?
- What does Branzino taste like?
- Why should you TRY this recipe ?
- Ingredients list and substitutes
- Fresh coconut milk VS canned coconut milk
- Steps for making Branzino fish curry
What is Branzino ?
Branzino is a mild white fish popular in Italian cuisine and usually roasted whole and served with lemon. It is also goes by European bass in some countries.
What does Branzino taste like?
Branzino is a light and flaky white fish that is mildly sweet. Since the flavor of fish itself isn't too strong it can absorb any spice added to it and blends into any cuisine very well. Southeast asian ingredients like tart gamboge and creamy coconut milk or lemongrass and chilis, or a classic Mediterranean preparation with fennel and tomatoes so many options to choose from.
Why should you TRY this recipe :
- A versatile seafood recipe that can be adapted with any fresh white fish you have on hand. The real taste of this curry comes from fresh ingredients used especially the fish with skin adds a beautiful flavor the curry. Cooking raw small onion ginger and green chili adds layers of flavor finished off with coconut milk and oil.
- The soft flaky fish against the smooth creamy mildly spiced sauce adds a sharp contrast of texture to the curry.It isa melt in the mouth kind of feel.
- Most ingredients are easily available. Except the very traditional Gambooge (Malabar tamarind). You could easily replace it with tomato or any tart ingredient of your choice. Just add only a little as the flavor of fish and the coconut stands out here.
- Whole Branzino is available in Costco
- Branzino fish is Healthy: Branzino is the Italian name for this silver-skinned fish which is most prized in Mediterranean cuisine for its lean, firm, white and delicate flesh. Branzino is one of the finest sources of essential fatty acids, protein, minerals and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin-A, E and D (cholecalciferol).It contains amino acids and good source of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).
Ingredients list and substitutes for making Branzino fish curry :
- Seafood : Any fish of your choice could be used Pompano, Porgy, Pomfret, Pearl spot, Rohu, Salmon, Tilapia or Branzino etc. Shell fish like shrimp also tastes excellent in this preparation. Heavy blood smelling fish like Tuna should be avoided.
- Spices : Paprika powder, Turmeric powder, Chili powder
- Fresh spices : Ginger, green chili
- Herb : Curry leaves. Do not use dried curry leaves. Skip if you cannot find fresh.
- Tartness: Gamboge, Tamarind, Tomato can be used.
- Flavor : Small onion, Coconut milk and oil
Fresh coconut milk VS canned coconut milk :
Fresh homemade coconut milk made from freshly squeezed coconut grated coconut is always the best but if that is not an option buy unsweetened coconut milk. shake the can well before opening so the cream accumulated on top gets a chance to evenly distribute.
What to do with remaining coconut milk?
Refrigerate the remaining in the can if If using with in the next 2 days. But if you are not going to use soon then immediately pour the remaining contents into ice cube trays and freeze. Unmold and freeze in a ziplock bag for later use.
How to use remaining coconut milk fast?
Here are some excellent recipe options to use up the remaining coconut milk without storing it in the fridge for long. Ashgourd with coconut milk curry , Vegetable stew , Penang chicken , Tender coconut pudding
Remember canned coconut milk when frozen will look split when added to hot sauces. So remember to thaw. Introduce the a little of hot liquid sauce to the coconut milk first by mixing it well then adding to the main sauce.This helps to bring the coconut milk to the same temperature as the sauce and prevents splitting to an extent.
Steps for making Branzino fish curry :
Other popular fish curries on the blog :
Porgy fish curry with raw mango and coconut
Kerala style shrimp curry with coconut
Shrimp in coconut and tamarind sauce
Branzino fish curry
- Branzino steaks
- 1 tsp Paprika powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2-3 tsp Mild vinegar
To mix :
- 3-4 Small onion / shallot crushed
- 1 inch piece Ginger crushed
- 1 Green chili Slit into 2
- 2 tsp Paprika powder
- 1 tsp Cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Coconut oil
- 2 pieces Gambooge Garcinia cambogia - A variety of dried tamarind
- 1 1/2 cup Water
- 1 cup Coconut milk (Unsweetened)
- 1 sprig Curry leaves
To season :
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil
- 5-6 Small onion / Shallot chopped
- 1-2 Green chili slit
- 2 sprigs Curry leaves
- 1 pinch Paprika powder
- Cut the fish into 1 inch round pieces with a sharp knife. Discard the fins tail end and gills (or head part). Rinse well but quickly and pat dry. Marinate with paprika powder, Turmeric powder, mild vinegar and salt Keep aside for 15- 20 minutes closed.
- Soak the Gambooge (dried tamarind) in a cup of hot water for at least 10 minutes. So it softens.
Mix and cook :
- Into an empty pan add crushed small onion, crushed ginger, slit green chili, paprika powder, cayenne powder, turmeric powder, little salt, coconut oil. Soaked gamboge along with water. Mix well. Bring this mixture to boil adding a cup water. Once the mixture boils reduce heat and add curry leaves and the marinated fish pieces gently cover and cook for 7-8 minutes on low to medium heat. Once the pieces are cooked add the coconut milk cover and allow this to come to a boil reduce heat continue for 2 minutes then switch off heat.
- In another pan heat coconut oil add the small onion chopped when it starts to caramelize add curry leave and green chili. Give this a minute then add the pinch of paprika powder allow the whole thing to turn a deep red. Switch off heat and drizzle over the fish curry evenly. Cover and keep aside for the flavors to sink in.
- Serve after half hour to 2 hours later with rice and other curries.
- As the fish curry sits the tartness of the gamboge will deepen. To avoid that you may discard the gamboge pieces after the curry has sat for an hour.
- Gambooge is a super food and will not cause any harm to your body.
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