Leaving your home country and more importantly leaving behind your near and dear ones is never easy. I sorely miss a lot of things about my life back home and one of the things I miss most is lazy Sunday afternoons at my parents place. As any typical teenager if you do move out from home during college years you would be better off dealing with moving out your parents after you get married but I never lived away from my parents and it was only after I was married that hubster and me moved into our own place, which happened to be very close to my mum’s !So most Sunday afternoons we would make our way to mum’s and Baba would be helping aai cook our favourite Sunday meal of chicken curry and rice, or sometimes when he was in a mood for seafood he would go Supekar’s fish market and queue up for fresh surmai (Marathi Surmai /?????, Indo-Pacific king mackerel or popularly spotted seer fish-Scomberomorus guttatus),pomfret and my fav fresh prawns ummm!
This recipe for Surmai/Kingfish /Mackerel curry is his favourite and I love how aai (means mother in Marathi my mother tongue)makes it so very delicious using a traditional hand me down recipe typical to the CKP community (Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (CKP), is an ethno-religious community of South Asia). We call it Surmaiche Kalvan (????????? ??????) – Kalvan means curry in Marathi. If we were in Pune today I would most certainly have surprised Baba by cooking up a feast for him and aai. Baba this post is for you and for aai thank you for being the most parents any one could ever ask for , the best childhood ever and for believing is us ,for being the strong presence every girl wants her father to be. I love you more than words can say Baba and I miss you heaps and tons!
- 4 medium sized surmai pieces
- 3 large tbsp coriander – green chilli paste
- 2 tsp of ginger – garlic paper
- 2 tsp Red Chilli powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 4 cloves of garlic cloves with skin on
- 3 tbsp grated coconut
- A pinch of Asafoetida/Hing
- 2 tbsp refined oil
- Juice of 1/4th of a lime
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander a tiny palmful washed and finely chopped for garnishing.
- Wash the Surmai/Kingfish /Mackerel steaks and marinate the with red chilli powder, turmeric, salt, ginger- garlic paste, coriander – green chilli paste and set aside for at least 40 minutes.
- Heat oil in a saucepan, add a pinch of asafoetida and then add the crushed garlic cloves with their skins on and as they start to brown.
- Add the marinated fish and toss around in the hot oil for 30 seconds
- Add the finely grated fresh coconut, stir in enough water to ensure that the curry is the right consistency, not too thick and cook on a low flame with lid for about under 5 minutes.
- Fresh fish cooks very quickly, take care not to overdo it.
- Now add salt as required bearing in mind that when the fish was marinated salt was used.
- Squeeze the lime juice into the curry.
- Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro.
- Serve with steaming hot rice and allow yourself to enjoy this simple yet classic fish curry.
This is another fabulous recipe that originates from the western coast of India, the Konkan coastline, dotted by beautiful coconut trees, the coastline is abundantly blessed with fresh seafood and natural scenic beauty read beautiful beaches with soft sands and plenty of sunshine. A lot of people would also add tamarind paste to the curry but we do not. Tamarind trees are also found in abundance
If you are looking for fresh Kingfish in London the best place to find it is at supermarkets like H-Mart. The Kingfish that you will get here is from the North Atlantic waters. You can also buy Wahoo steaks from Wing Yip but the taste is not as pronounced and the flesh is not as tender, besides wahoo steaks are bigger and need more seasoning and should be consumed on the same day to enjoy flavours which are at their best in a freshly made fish curry. I’d say they taste better in a curry than fried and if you do fry them do add a large squeeze of lime after you have fired them. Since the Kingfish belongs to the Mackerel family, the mackerel will take all these marinade flavours beautifully and works well both fried and in a curry Konkani style.
My traditional CKP surmai kalvan/curry recipe works well with pomfret too.