I’ve tried a lot of curries like this in India where large kingfish mackerel are usually used. The fish are cut into pieces through the spine and then cooked on the bone. I was served a mackerel & mango curry once when smaller mackerel, like the ones we get in the UK were used. That time, the fish was also cooked on the bone. It was amazing but those small bones were sure annoying and the meal was difficult to eat.
I cook this curry differently for that reason. Not only is it easier to eat, it’s also safer for people to eat without the worry of them choking on a bone. The mackerel is filleted and then the bones and heads are wrapped into cheesecloth to cook and flavour the coconut milk sauce.
This curry is usually a lot spicier. In fact, more often than not it’s red from all the curry powder added. I’ve toned it down a lot for my family but I do love the spicier versions. Feel free to add more chilli powder if you like the heat.
- 3 medium mackerel – filleted but retain the head and bones
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tins light coconut milk
- 3 green chillies – slit lengthwise
- 1 red onion - finely chopped
- 1 tsp rapeseed or coconut oil
- 20 fresh or frozen curry leaves
- 1 mango - cut into bite sized chunks
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander to garnish
- Cut the mackerel fillets into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl and stir in the salt, turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder. Allow to marinate while you make the sauce.
- Tie the fish bones up securely in cheesecloth or any clean cloth. Place this package into a large saucepan or wok and pour the coconut milk in along with the green chillies and ¼ of the chopped onion. Simmer the coconut milk until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in another pan and fry the remaining onion and curry leaves until the onion is soft and translucent, about five minutes. You are using very little oil so watch it all carefully and reduce the heat if slower cooking is necessary. You can add a drop of water if the onion is burning to the pan which will solve that problem.
- When your onion is cooked and the sauce reduced by half, add the mackerel and mango to the pan and pour the coconut sauce, stewed onions and chillies over the top. Stir well and cook until the fish is cooked through and the sauce thickened to a consistency you're happy with.
- Season with salt to taste and garnish with the coriander.