Assam Pedas Ikan Curry/ Tamarind Fish Red Curry

I cooked this fish curry dish to go with roti prata (Indian flat bread). This spicy dish is great for winter time and cold weather where the body needs the extra spices to keep warm.


Ingredients for making the curry paste or rempah:

8 – 10 small Red Chillies

1 Garlic

2 Shallots or 1 Red Onion

1 inch knob of Ginger (Peeled and cut into small pieces)

Ingredients for making the Assam juice:

2 or more cups of water

1/3 of a block of Assam

Additional Ingredients for the Fish Curry:

2 tablespoons of Oil

1 Yellow onion, chopped

3 stalks of Lemon Grass, cut into 3 inch long pieces

20 small Okras, cut and discard the heads and tails

2 Purple Eggplants, cut and discard the stalks, cut length-wise into half, then quarters, and slice into two inch long pieces

4 Curry leaves

3 Spanish Mackerel, remove guts, clean the fish, cut fish down the middle keeping the bones then cut the fish lengthwise into half or thirds (I bought frozen Spanish Mackerel that are already gutted and cut into half down the middle)

3 – 4 tablespoons of Fish Curry Powder (I recommend Baba’s Fish Curry Powder)

1 – 2 tablespoons of Lime Juice

A few dashes of Fish Sauce

1 Can of Coconut Milk

4 – 6 Tomatoes on the vine, discard vines, cut into wedges

3 spritzes of Cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon of dried Mustard Seeds


To make Assam juice. Add water and Assam paste in a bowl. Use your hand to squeeze the Assam paste in the water, keep repeating until the tamarinds are worn down. Then strain the Assam juice by pressing the thick juice through the strainer and adding more water if necessary. Discard the tamarind seeds.

To make the curry paste or rempah, grind up red chillies, shallots, garlic and ginger.

In a big soup pot, heat up oil and fry chopped yellow onion until golden brown. Next add the curry paste and lemon grass. Fry until fragrant. Add okra, purple eggplant, assam juice, lemon juice, curry leaves and pour in enough water to barely cover the ingredients.

Bring everything to a boil until the eggplant is soft enough for a fork to prick through.

Add fish, curry powder, fish sauce and coconut milk. Bring the curry to a boil. Then add tomatoes, cilantro and dried mustard seeds. Simmer until fish is cooked.

Copyright 2012 From the Kitchen of Eloise


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