February 20, 2013

Iswana ambat recipe - Surmai or kingfish Curry

Iswana ambat recipe - The speciality of this curry is that there is no frying or roasting of the spices and other ingredients. The raw spices give a unique flavor to the curry. Another important thing is marination of the fish slices. Marination increases the flavor and reduces the fishy smell. The same curry masala paste can be used for making curry from any fish.

Preparation time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 15 minutes
Yield - serves 3

  • 10  mediun sized kingfish slices / surmai / iswan
  • Salt to taste
For the marinade 
  • 1 small grape sized tamarind, soaked
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For the masala paste 
  • 2 + 1/2 cups fresh grated coconut 
  • 1 medium sized onion, roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds 
  • 10 fried fenugreek seeds / menthe kaalu
  • 3 tbsp red chilli powder 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Small lemon sized tamarind.

1.  Soak the tamarind in little water and squeeze out the thick pulp from it. 

2.  Mix together the tamarind pulp, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and make a thick paste. Use water if required. 

3.  Marinate the fish slices with this paste. Keep this marinated fish in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
4.  Grind together the coconut, onions, garlic cloves, coriander seeds,  fenugreek seeds, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and tamarind along with 1/2 cup of water and make a smooth masala paste. Use more water if required. 
5.  Take a heavy bottomed vessel and add the masala paste and salt along with 1 cup of water. Mix well. 

6.  Add sufficient water to get the desired consistency of the curry. Bring it to boil. Now, add the marinated fish slices to it. 

7.  Cook it on a low medium flame till the fish becomes soft. Simmer  for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the flame .

8.  Serve hot with steamed rice.


  1. very flavourful curry looks spicy and delicious...

  2. wow..delicious and tempting .

    Ongoing event:
    in my blog.

  3. OMG! my all time fav Surmai here. Droolworthy fish curry dear.

    today's post:

  4. That's looks spicy and yum ....

  5. Wow...yummy fish curry..:-)

  6. Hi Vidya, your fish curry look so good. I sure love to have extra rice to go with this. :)

    Have a great week ahead,regards.

  7. Looks so delicious...color of the curry looks yum :)

  8. looks delicious goes yummy with hot rice ,loved u r style of marinating the fish

  9. Super tempting and yummy

  10. wow..delicious and tempting .

  11. Flavorful yummy looking fish curry...

  12. my mom used to make this back home , will just do fry not the gravy but it looks awesome and tasty.

  13. Looks so yummy! Wud love to try this :)


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