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Ambul Thiyal/Sri Lankan Tamarind Fish

Ambul Thiyal/Sri Lankan Tamarind Fish

Sri Lankan Tamarind Fish

Sri Lankan fish curry is delicious and very similar to Kerala fish curry. Creamy curries with coconut milk or  tangy spicy fish curries with rice is a  classic combo you will never get tried of  eating.Rice and curry is staple or a norm in every household in South India and Sri Lanka.Curries ranging from mild and flavorful vegetables or lentils to spicy meat and fish curries are made and served with rice.

I once tried a mild fish stew and it was very tasty. I was looking for some more Sri Lankan fish recipes to try. This recipe is adapted from the book Sri Lankan Cooking, by Douglas Bullis and Wendy Hutton.Some of the Sri Lankan curries have dominant and powerful flavors that is unique to the island. This fish curry is a blend of fiery spices, flavor and texture that will tickle your taste buds and give you satisfaction of an exotic eating experience.

Sri Lankan Tamarind Fish is a traditional fish curry and is usually prepared in clay pots. It is a dry masala fish and has a very unique taste,with earthy spices, tangy goraka/Malabar tamarind and spicy chilies.This curry can be preserved in room temperature for 3-4 days. The curry is best when served with plain rice or with orutti/rice flat bread.Get your ingredients together and give this recipe a try,you will surely love it.


Fish- 1 kg

Ginger- 2 inch thick piece

Garlic- 5 cloves

Shallots- 8-10
Onion thinly sliced-1

Kudampuli/gambooge- 3-4 

(you can also use tamarind pulp)

Kashmiri Chilly powder- 2 1/2 tsp

Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
Whole spices- clove-2, green cardamon- 2 Cinnamon stick- 1 piece
Pandan leaf- 2 small piece 

Curry leaves

salt to taste

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Soak kudampuli/gambooge in half cup of hot water and set aside for half an hour.

In a pan add all the spice powders and dry roast for two to three minutes (till it is reaches smoking point). Set this aside and in the same pan add two tsp of oil and saute sliced shallots, garlic,ginger and pandan leaf till it is golden brown.

Put this sauteed onion, roasted spices and the kudampuli into a blender and make it into a fine paste.

Marinate the fish with this paste and salt set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan or clay pot and add the whole spices. After a minute add the sliced onion and curry leaves. Saute till golden brown.
 Layer the fish and fry in medium flame till one side is crispy. Gently flip the fish and cook the other side. Add half cup of water, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking till the gravy is thick. Serve with rice.

Try this,
Hope you will all enjoy

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