This amazing and simple swordfish ambot tik curry brings back great memories of my stays in Goa. The recipe isn’t difficult but you need to be careful not to overcook the swordfish. The meat should be nice and tender but if left too long, it will fall apart. For this reason, you want to decide before you start making the curry, just how thick you want your gravy to be. You really only simmer the sauce for about six minutes total so only add water until you are happy with the consistency as it really won’t reduce very much in six minutes.
In Goa, this curry is made with baby sharks that are caught right off the coast. The sharks look like they are about big enough to take off a toe so luckily I was never attacked. The fresh shark meat was so good but shark is a bit difficult to come by where I live. Swordfish is a good alternative.
Ambot tik curries are both sour and spicy. You can decide how spicy and sour they yours is by reducing or increasing the amount of chillies and tamarind used.
- 500g sword fish – skinned and sliced thickly
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 2 tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil
- 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
- 1 medium brown onion – finely chopped
- 2 green chillies - sliced lenthwise
- 200g chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- FOR THE CURRY PASTE
- 10 dried Kashmiri chillies
- 1 medium red onion – roughly chopped
- 6 large cloves garlic – peeled and smashed
- 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger – roughly chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 6 cloves - smashed
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick
- In a bowl, stir the salt into the fish and set aside while you make the sauce.
- Blend all of the curry paste ingredients with just enough water to make a thick and smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium high heat. When hot, add the curry leaves and temper them in the oil for about 30 seconds. Then add the onion and fry for about 5 - 7 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add the curry paste and tomatoes and give it all a good stir. Now add enough water to make a gravy that is to your preferred consistency. I used about 250ml (1 cup). Add the green chillies and the fish and push the fish down into the simmering sauce to cook. It should only take about three minutes.
- To finish, stir in the tamarind paste one tablespoon at a time. Tamarind concentrate gives the curry a nice sour flavour. I recommend tasting the sauce after one tablespoon and then adding more if you like.
- Season with salt to taste and garnish with the chopped coriander.