Chintakaya Chepala Pulusu (Fish Curry with Raw Tamarind)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 kg or 1 lb Fish (Tilapia/Mackarel/Grass Carp)
  • Marinate the fish with 1tbsp of red chilli powder, salt and lemon juice and keep aside for 1 hr.
  • 8 - 10 big chinthakayalu (raw tamarind as shown in the above picture)
  • Clean them in water to remove the dirt on it then pressure cook them with sufficient water for 2 whistles or boil them in water till they are tender,don't throw the water away, let them cool and then peel the skin off and using hands take the juice into the water in which it is boiled. Add little salt,red chili powder and coriander powder 1 tsp each to this tamarind paste and keep aside.
  • 2 medium size Onions (Preferably Red)- cut into small pieces
  • 5 -6 Green chilies- slit lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds or methi seeds
  • 2 dry red chilli, de-seed and tear
  • 10-12 fresh curry leaves
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (adjust according to your spice, I like mine to be very spicy)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 -3 tsp oil
For dry powder:
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • dry roast them without oil and make powder
  • For paste:
  • 1 green chili and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • make paste with above ingredients and keep aside.
Method:
  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a heavy bottomed pan and fry fish for just 2 -3 mins so that fish stay in shape once you boil in pulusu/gravy
  • Heat Oil in a wide pan, add mustard seeds as they splutter add cumin seeds,fenugreek seeds, crushed garlic, red chillies and curry leaves and saute them for 1/2 min.
  • Now add onions, green chillies and cook till onions are transparent. Add turmeric and salt and saute for 1 min.Add red chili powder, coriander powder and fry till the raw smell leaves.
  • Add Fish and mix well with onions mixture. saute them for 3 mins.
  • Now add the chinthakaya pulusu or the raw tamarind paste,some water and let it boil without lid for 5 mins. After that place the lid and let it cook for 5-8 mins(don't stir the gravy frequently as the fish pieces may break )and adjust the spices accordingly.
  • Now take the lid off and cook till it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Add the green chili,mustard seeds paste and the coriander and fenugreek seeds powder and mix well and don't cook for long time after you add these powders as it may give bitter taste to the curry.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and turn the stove off.
  • Serve it with hot rice or ragi sangati/ragi balls.

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