This dish has flavor, heat, is quick to make and tastes better the next day. Dameka is from Sri Lanka and used to work for my friend. She taught my friend how to make it, who in turn gave me the recipe. The amounts are approximate; feel free to adjust to your taste and liking. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but trust me, it’s well worth the effort.
*Prepare all ingredients before cooking.
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
5-6 curry leaves – you can use 1 tsp curry powder but the leaves are best. We have a tree in the back yard so fresh is always available
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
4-5 whole cloves
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped finely
1 medium onion, chopped
1 heaping tsp fish spice – a mix specifically for fish and used in both Sri Lankan and Indian dishes. I like Eastern brand.
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks about 1- 1.5″ in length
approx. 1/4 – 1/2 C coconut milk powder
Heat oil in pan. Add curry leaves or curry powder, if using. Let cook for about 20 seconds.
Add mustard seeds, fenugreek, cloves, garlic and onion. Cook until the leaves turn, garlic browns and seeds start to pop.
Add fish, chili powder, fish spice, and salt. Stir until fish is well coated with spices. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring.
Add tomatoes and cinnamon sticks, cover and simmer 5-10 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked down and saucy.
Add water until fish is almost covered. Bring to a boil.
Combine 1/4C coconut milk powder with 1/2C water. Add to fish, stir and boil briskly for 5 minutes. If you prefer a thicker, creamier curry, add more coconut milk powder.
Serve with white rice and in this case, salad and more fish! I really need to work on my plating skills…