Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Story of My Mango Fish Curry

On Sunday we ran away from home.

The voltage fluctuations got the better of our air-conditioner, stabiliser notwithstanding, and just the thought of spending most of the day at home had us hot and bothered. Our flight took us to various destinations, all of which had air-conditioning - a visit to The Spouse's colleague and then his office, a good one hour away, to finish a pending job; lunch at a new restaurant on the way back; vegetable shopping and then, back home, by which time it was late afternoon. Two hours later, we showered for what seemed like the third or fourth time in the day, and went fish shopping, followed by aimless wandering in various air-conditioned stores in the vicinity and finally to a restaurant where the inordinate delay in service did not bother us much as we were enjoying the cool interiors.

I had bought a green mango to cook with dal. However, I used only a little of it for the dal. Most of it was left over, and the memory of a rich red and green fish-and-mango curry supplied by some friendly neighbours many years ago floated into my mind. I did not have a recipe, however, and surfing the Net or my numerous cookery books did not yield a satisfactory recipe, so I came up with a hotch-potch of several.

Where's the mango in the picture? The thin, curved sliver in the centre, which looks like it could be anything else, is it. I had peeled the mango for the dal, but there's no need to peel it for this recipe.

Here's how it goes:

Fish (I used barracuda): 10 small pieces, cleaned
Green mango: 200 gm, sliced, discard the seed (Need not be peeled)
Onions: 2, chopped
Tomato: 1, chopped
Salt: To taste
Turmeric: A pinch
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp

I had this ground masala (below) ready, I used two spoons of it
Fennel seeds: 3tsp
Black peppercorns: 8-10
Cinnamon: 1 inch stick
Cloves: 4
Cardamom: 4
Bay Leaves: 3

Amchur/Dried mango powder: 1 tbsp

Water: Some

Curry leaves: 1/2 a cup
Mustard, black gram, fenugreek, fennel: 1/4 tsp each
Oil: 1 tbsp

Heat the oil and temper with the mustard, black gram, fenugreek and fennel.

Add the onions, tomatoes and curry leaves. Fry for a while and add the masala powder.

Fry this on low heat for 15 minutes, then add the mango slices, amchur, chilli powder, salt and turmeric along with less than one cup of water. Boil for about 10 minutes.

Add the fish and let it boil again till the fish is cooked and the gravy is thick.


  1. Oh Sra, u make me drool! Never one fish kulambu ends without green mango in its season. Our kulambu/curry is always with tamarind and if green mangoes are there the tamarind quantity is halved. I love fish wtih mango. The curry looks exotic with that reddish color and fish floating! I would very much prefer a big ball of raagi muddha with this!

  2. When I lived in Hyderabad... I would take an auto and go to Hyderabad Central at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays... read a book on one of their sofas... and eat lunch and take an auto back at 8 p.m.... every weekend :)

  3. Sra, love your recipe for mango fish curry. Like the addition of Amchur powder, and bay leaves and other spices in the masala. Will try this:-) The curry looks spicy. What a meal you must have had with this fish curry despite the heat!

  4. Just looking to the pic makes me drool , i can imagine the wonderufl taste of thefish curry. So so yummy.
    Wish we had some really hot weather here too. But then i will tell it is too hot too.

  5. The texture and the color of this fish curry is just fantastic.

    Mango & drumstick sambhar is a top favorite but second in list to use raw mango for is fish curry.
    I have fish and green mango, hmmm what should I be cooking?

  6. Do u know when metro project started in bangalore there used to be 10-12 hour power cuts.....that is really good time in my life...bcoz at that time only i coverred all the malls and shopping areas...eat outs and movies....hehehehe.... Sra...... fish curry looks really luscious.....adding mango is new to me....Hmmm will try this version....

  7. wow curry looks so delicious yummy recipe

  8. Love the idea of fish and green mango together in a curry (makes my mouth pucker). The spice mixture you've used is something I usually use with poultry and meat but never w/ fish, but why not! What is the fish called in Madras/Tamil? That would help me from having images of piranhas & barracudas in my head.


  9. Sra,
    we love mango ,but we are more into sweet stuff :))...never made mango fish curry ..the colour is so rich ,i am sure it taste's even good ..spicy food with rice makes me feel real hungry always :))..
    hugs and smiles

  10. You never cease to amuse me with your posts! Love the fish curry and the casserole too...its very pretty!

  11. Aah! The Chennai I know and love! :D We used to have problems
    (sometimes) with the water supply too. Could not even shower then! :)

  12. LOvely dish... tempting but no other go i have to admire it since i am vegetarian

  13. This is a fish curry I am seeing first with mangoes I think. Very new but totally drool worthy. Maybe I will make it one of these days

  14. One of the typical Tamil Nadu style! My mom makes with mango (neelam) even try with brinjal, gosh u gonna love it! Usually the mango melt easily in gravy and loose shape at the end! I feel the hot summer weather here...

  15. I love fish with Mango.. but never ever cooked it myself. When we were little, we had a family friend from kerala who would make this combination when ever we wanted, I still remember the taste....

  16. Mango n fish must have resulted in a lovely tangy curry! Am craving fish now!!

  17. Ni, I suspected that the amount of mango I had wouldn't be enough, so I added the amchur - it was perfect!
    Raaga, they had sofas? How humanitarian! The two malls in this city, they don't have any that I can recall. And the older of the two switches off the AC in summer 'cos they don't want ppl thronging it for just the AC (and no sales).
    Shreya, I'd actually made that masala for a meat curry but since most of it was fennel, it didn't seem unsuitable.
    Happy, It's just the level of heat one has gotten used to - in the US, I wore a warm woolly coat in summer and everyone was laughing at me!
    Indo, okay, if I can find good drumsticks, then mango-drumstick sambar is next on my list. Maybe dal, because I'm not fond of sambar!
    Lubna, that's so funny! And a positive way to look at a power cut.
    Rekha, thank you.
    Mamatha, it's not that sour! I know, I was taken aback when I saw the name barracuda - I looked at its teeth and it does have killer fangs! I Googled and it seems to be called Seela/Sheela in Tamil.
    Jaya, We make a lot of things with raw mango - dal, chutney, sambar, curry, stews ...
    Rachel, thanks. The casserole - from one of those lifestyle stores long, long ago. Came without a lid.
    TBC, Should I be glad I didn't know you then? ;) ;)
    Pavithra, maybe you could try it with potato or something?
    Bong Mom, Really? I thought it was fairly common and I was the one who forgot!
    Cham, the ripe neelam? I've heard of the brinjal combo.
    Soma, As I found out, it's very easy.
    Divya, I thought you were vegetarian! Let me go back and investigate your blog better! Meanwhile, you can have some of this.

  18. Heh... eating a barracuda seems better than being eaten by a barracuda :) Although I'd prefer to avoid both events, ideally...

  19. mango fish curry ! yum yum all the way :)

  20. Mango as part of the dish? Yum! Now, THIS is my kind of dish!


  21. sra..curry looks awesome and wonderful click..i just loved it.... :)

  22. @Raaga: God save me. I did the same thing! Have we met before?

    Sra - I'm going to use this gravy for veggies or something else. I love mango in curries!

  23. Hi Sra, How are you? Its been long since I visited your blog.Life is getting too busy with 2 kids.
    Btw I miss being in hybd though there are such problems in summer.
    The most suffered part during power cut was mosquito bites!!

  24. I remember doing that in Minnesota - wandering from air conditioned store to air conditioned store. Never ended up with such good food, tho....

  25. Shyam, yes, prefer eating one - you know, I always thought it was a large fish, never knew it was edible till I saw it in the store.
    Rahin, Yes, it was quite yummy!
    Paz, my offer stands.
    Lena, thank you, and glad you thought it was a good pic.
    A_and_N, did you try it yet?
    Sharmi, summer's been a real killer this year, come in the winter when Hyd has a real winter - really, I'm not at all a winter person but summer really is bad this year.
    Katie, can't imagine the US being so hot, tho' I have been to the hotter regions there - just didn't seem as unbearable as in India, maybe the humidity where I live adds to the discomfort.


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