Though over the years I mastered over many recipes…they are still some recipes which taste ‘the best’ when made by mom…This Machli ka Khatta Salan is one of them. Now when mom is here I thought of getting this recipe done her and sealing it in the blog forever. Mom makes amazing machli ka meetha salan too…don’t get scared by the word meetha…it has nothing to do with sweetener…the recipe got its name because we don’t add tamarind to it…
This ‘machli ka khatta’ which I am writing about today is mostly made in Nellore region and commonly called as ‘Chepala Pulusu’. You can find this spicy and tangy fish gravy in any Andhra restaurant menu. Now a days they are serving this in weddings too. All you need is a bowl of white rice to go with this machli ka khaata. I feel this recipe tastes best after 5-6 hours of making, mainly because the fish pieces will absorb the tangy and spicy flavours by then. Machli ka Khatta Salan
- 2 kg Fish pieces
- 2 Onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 Tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
- 2 Green chilies cut into half
- 1 tbsp. Ginger-Garlic Paste
- 5 tbsp. thick Tamarind paste *
- 2 tbsp. Red chili powder
- ½ tbsp. Turmeric powder
- 12 fresh Curry leaves
- 4 tbsp. Peanuts
- 5 tbsp. sliced dry Coconut
- 3 tbsp. Coriander seeds
- ½ tbsp. Cumin
- 4 Cloves
- ¼ tbsp. Fenugreek seeds
- Very gently scrub the fish pieces with salt and then thoroughly rinse under water. Repeat this process for 2-3 times. Drain the pieces completely and pat dry.
- Now make a paste by adding 1 tbsp. oil, red chili powder, turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste. Now coat the fish pieces on both the sides with this paste and set aside for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a wide heavy bottom cooking vessel (lagan) dry roast one by one all the ingredients mentioned under ‘dry roast’ and add to mixer jar.
- Now add oil to the same vessel and when it heats up add sliced onions and fry until nice golden brown. Drain and this also to the mixer jar. Now grind the masala to fine paste by adding little water if needed.
- In the same vessel (in which we fried onions), gently arrange marinated fish pieces side by side and cook for 2 minutes on medium flame without covering with a lid. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 minutes on other side. Take out onto a plate and set aside. Repeat this until you complete all the pieces (add little oil if needed).
- In the same vessel, add in curry leaves and when they start to change color add in above ground masala along with green chilies and chopped tomatoes.
- Fry until oil starts to leave the sides. Now add in tamarind paste and 2 cups of water. Bring this to boil.
- Gently drop in fish pieces and on medium flame cook covered for 5 minutes and check for salt. Don’t use the spoon to stir, just hold the vessel on sides using a kitchen cloth and gently shake the vessel so that pieces are well coated with gravy.
- If needed add salt and continue cooking by covering with a lid on low flame for another 20 minutes. When the oil starts to float on the sides of the vessel and gravy will be thickened, turn off the flame and serve warm with plain white rice.
- Add love to make this recipe taste ‘Yummy’.
You can even use fresh coconut in the recipe instead of dry coconut. If you are using fresh coconut then no need to roast it. You can directly add it to the mixer jar and grind.
*If you don’t have tamarind paste to use in the recipe, then simply take lemon size tamarind and clean, wash and soak in ¾ cup of warm water for 10 minutes and squeeze. Run this through a sieve and add this water to the curry.
A lot of people ask me about the exact measurement of tamarind paste. When I say thick tamarind paste in a recipe, it means thick tamarind concentrate. It is made by soaking 1 cup of cleaned tamarind in 1 cup of boiling water for at least 30 minutes.
When the water is cold enough to touch, squeeze in the tamarind as much as possible in the water and run this through a fine mesh sieve. Scrape the outer side of the sieve. Transfer this to a bowl and heat on low flame by stirring until thick.
Upon cooling add this to a clean and dry air tight container and refrigerate till use. You can store this in fridge for 2-3 weeks. Always take out required amount using a clean and dry spoon to increase storage life of the tamarind paste.