Left: Sujata Halarnkar and her mom, Sulochana Shridhankar. Proper: Fish curry.

Sujata Halarnkar/Collage by NPR

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Sujata Halarnkar/Collage by NPR

Left: Sujata Halarnkar and her mom, Sulochana Shridhankar. Proper: Fish curry.

Sujata Halarnkar/Collage by NPR

All Issues We’re Cooking is a collection that includes family recipes from you, our readers and listeners, and the particular tales behind them. We’ll proceed to share extra of your kitchen gems all through the vacations.

Sujata Halarnkar’s Aji, or grandmother, would just about eat seafood daily. That was the norm for the household from the Konkan area by India’s west coast. The kind of fish or seafood assorted relying on what was in season and resulted in many alternative curry recipes, however the easiest one is what Halarnkar comes again to time and time once more.

“It is a very conventional [curry] with the essential substances, nothing very fancy, however it’s a household custom,” Halarnkar mentioned. “It transfers from my grandmother, from my mother’s mom. And we’ve been cooking this ceaselessly. If I make this, individuals simply love this.”

Halarnkar lives in Yuma, Ariz., right this moment, however she grew up in Mumbai, and her grandparents lived south of the town in a village. Her mom would take her and her 4 sisters to her grandparents’ for summer time trip. There, her grandmother, Saraswati Wadkar, would prepare dinner for them, usually making this curry.

“That is without doubt one of the most nice recollections I had about my childhood,” Halarnkar mentioned. “We had a seashore to ourselves and we had no worries. My grandmother was cooking for us. You’ll purchase contemporary fish each morning and prepare dinner that.”

As a lot as Halarnkar associates these summers with this curry recipe, she additionally thinks of the candy Alphonso mangoes she ate with the curry.

“My grandmother would make this recipe very spicy as a result of that was historically how it’s made, however we couldn’t deal with these spices, so she would serve contemporary ripe mangoes with it,” Halarnkar mentioned.

She will be able to deal with the spicy curry now, however she nonetheless enjoys mangoes with the dish — even when the mixture perplexes others.

“After I acquired married, my husband was actually shocked,” Halarnkar mentioned, recalling his response. “‘Why are you consuming mangoes along with your meal? Particularly with fish curry,'” he’d ask. “However then I needed to clarify to him that that is how we grew up. And I simply beloved that mixture from then on.”

This fish curry represents the last word consolation meals to Halarnkar, who mentioned her household at all times craves it after they return from out of city.

“We’ll exit to the fish market, purchase contemporary fish and make this the very first thing,” she mentioned. “You do not even fear about greens at that time. You simply eat some steamed rice and this fish curry.”

Halarnkar has handed on the recipe to her daughter Natasha, who lives in San Diego and shares Halarnkar’s love of cooking. And although the following era has the recipe, Halarnkar mentioned she nonetheless loves when her mother makes the curry in India.

In truth, she’s trying ahead to having it the following time she goes to go to.

“I can inform you 100%, my mother goes to make it for me after I arrive there,” Halarnkar mentioned. “Little doubt about it.”

Aji’s Fish Curry

Recipe submitted by Sujata Halarnkar
Yuma, Ariz.


  • 1 pound fish fillet — salmon or trout works properly
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to style
  • 2 inexperienced chilis, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic (4 peeled and a pair of peeled and sliced for tempering)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or 7 to eight dry crimson chilis)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds or 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped for garnishing
  • ½ cup crimson onion, sliced and divided
  • 1 cup coconut milk, canned
  • 2 items kokum, particular bitter fruit accessible in India (elective) or 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water


Reduce the fish fillet into 1 1/2-inch items. Rinse as soon as underneath chilly water. Pat dry and place the fish items in a bowl.

Marinate the fish with turmeric and salt and set it apart for not less than quarter-hour. In the meantime, mix onions, garlic, coriander seeds, chili powder and cilantro to a advantageous paste with somewhat water (about 1 tablespoon).

In a heavy-bottom pan, warmth oil and add the sliced garlic items to the recent oil. As soon as the garlic turns golden brown, add the sliced onions and inexperienced chilis. Sauté till the onions are smooth. Then add the blended spices and fry it for just a few seconds.

Add ¾ cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Combine it properly. Regulate the water for those who suppose it’s too thick. Carry it to a boil and gently add the fish items together with the kokum or lemon juice. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes on medium warmth or till the fish is simply turning opaque.

Garnish with the remaining coconut milk and serve sizzling with steamed rice.

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