07 July, 2009

Fish Curry - Cook Like Grandmother

Everything you need to turn your kitchen into a paradise lies in from ingredients, to spices, to gadgets, to utensils. Yes! Right kind of the utensils and vessels plays a vital role in the comfortable cooking of any cuisines. Cooking Indian cuisines, the best works is the Indian Wok. Somehow, the design and shape of the Indian Wok have not changed over centuries.
My mom liked to cook her food in the wok made of real Iron Metal which looks dark and strong and often changes the color of the food cooked in.

Cook like Grandma, the Fish Curry

I also have my non-stick woks to stainless-steel woks but I believe that my very own traditional Indian Wok (Kadhai) made from brass metal is the best. This was gifted by my mother-in-law, who always prefers to make food in the brass wok. This wok has hemispherical in shape with no flat spot on the bottom. Their handles are two large round rings that stick almost straight up. It’s bottom which makes for quicker and more even distribution of heat. The design makes them ideal for cooking over a fire. A bright golden wok with tints of traditional circular design makes it look so special and graceful.

My Golden Wok

I made my very traditional Indian fish curry in this brass wok which tasted so wonderful. Cooking fish hardly takes 10-15minute, making it the simplest dish. I like making fish curry in the Bengali style with panch-phoran species or like Patrani-Machi from Gujarat which is cooked with steam, but the most I love is the one which have the recipe directly from my Grandmother. This fish curry is made the same way as my grandmother cooked. It is easy, spicy, and extremely delicious with ethnic rough gravy makes it taste like a complete divine recipe. Very few but specific species cooked in the Indian traditional wok makes this recipe a sure delight to relish eating.

Recipe for 2 pax:
Ingredients for Fish Curry
  • Fresh Fish (Indian Mackerel)
  • Onion - one (medium size)
  • Garlic – 2 full pods(around half cup)
  • Black Pepper – 1 tsp(around 10-15)
  • Cinnamon Stick – 1inch
  • Red Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 2 tablespoon 

Method of making Fish Curry:

Making of Indian Fish Curry

  • Clean the fish, wash and cut into small chunks and keep aside.
  • Mix the dry spices red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt with some water and make a smooth paste.
  • In the pan roast the black pepper and the cinnamon stick, cool and then crush to form powder.
  • Crush and roughly chop the garlic.
  • Roughly chop the onion and keep aside.
  • In a vessel/wok, put oil and heat it, now add half of the crushed powder of black-pepper and cinnamon stick. Then quickly add roughly chopped garlic.
  • When the garlic turns golden brown, add roughly chopped onion.
  • Let the onion gets cook and turn golden brown, now add rest of the crushed black-pepper and cinnamon stick.
  • Now add the smooth paste of powdered spices and cook for a minute. Keep stirring it.
  • Add little water to avoid the curry, sticking the bottom.
  • Keep cooking for couple of minutes.
  • Now again add some water (around 1cup) depending on how thick you want the curry.
  • Then add the fish pieces into the curry and with the ladle pour some gravy on the pieces and cover the vessel/wok.
  • Simmer the fire and cook with cover/lid for about 10-15 minutes. Let the fish cooks in own steam.
  • Remove from fire and serve hot with rice or roti.  


  • The Fish-Curry tastes best when the gravy is thick.
  • Roasting the black pepper and cinnamon stick makes it easier to crush and somehow removes any extra bitterness.
  • Making the smooth paste with of the dry spices enhances the cooking.
  • I prefer, Mustard Oil to cook, you might add any oil you wish to.
  • The major role in adding the flavor of the curry is the excessive addition of Garlic, black pepper and cinnamon stick.
  • I loved the Mackerel fish; you might get any fish you like the most.
  • Also, I believe cooking this very ethnic dish cooked in the brass wok enhances fish’s flavor.
  • Make sure never to add anything sour like lemon juice or tomato, when ever cooking anything in the brass wok, because the brass metal might just chemically react with the food.


  1. Wow What a nice mouth watering post!!....this is an appetite enhancer!!....

  2. It looks so amazing that even a vegetarian like me wants to have it....Great work Dear Friend...Now I'll also find one brass wok for my kitchen ...heheheh...

  3. It's really tasty dear...I'll definatly try it...

  4. Excellent and delicious look for the fish curry!!!

    We are going to try it this weekend. Thank you for the recipe and detailed process :)

  5. Lovely mouth watering dish. Only concern is Mackerel coz it has high mercury and pregnant women shud avoid eating it.

    Check here:


  6. @Madhulika
    hehhehee...O Dear Vege! Try the same recipe with Organic Potato, i.e. Egg!

  7. @ Suparna
    Yes Suppi! Do try making this dish, it is very easy and damn delicious :)

  8. @ Little L
    Dear, I made this Fish for u..now this weekend YOU Make Chicken curry for me :)

  9. @Priya
    Thank Dear for the info,I shall avoid makeral fish and swich to prompret or rohu fish.

  10. Hi,
    I was looking for a brass utensil specially for the fish curry.Can you tell me the price of this kadai in Indian currency and where can we usually find them in India? I plan to get one during my next india trip. Do you think a brass urli (flat bottomed wide utensil) is better than a brass kadai for fish curry??Please reply.

  11. Thanks so much for all your info...i was searching high and low to find out if it was safe to cook in brass. I have bought a kadhai for tradition.s sake but was not sure if food would react to the metal. So thanks for the warning against cookin lemon, tomato, tamarind, etc. Thanks also to your loving response to Priya who warned us against mackerel and mercuty!
    I have also read about you. You seem to be a balanced person with interesting and healthy interests. Goes to show what right-minded parents can make out of a girl child in India!


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