Kharra Masala Fish (Fish With Tomatoes and Onions)
The classic sweet and sour combination of onion and tomato makes the base for this quick fish kharra masala. Optional mustard seeds add pungent flavor and pair well with lemon juice, ginger and the smoldering heat of dried round red chiles. Use any kind of white fish you like and add more onion for more sweetness. Serve this bright and punchy dish with rice or roti, or by itself. For a saucier dish that’s more like a curry, stir in a half cup of water, fish stock or coconut milk after Step 2 and bring to a simmer.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2tablespoons ghee or neutral oil
- 1teaspoon coriander seeds (optional)
- 1teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional)
- 6dried whole round red chiles, preferably Dundicut
- 1medium Spanish onion, or white, finely chopped
- 1teaspoon garam masala
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- ½teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1teaspoon kashmiri red chile powder
- 4medium plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½pounds firm, skinless white fish, such as cod or haddock, cut into 3-inch pieces
- Juice of 1 medium lemon, about ¼ cup
- 2chopped Thai green chiles
- 1(2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and julienned
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Step 1Heat ghee in a medium pot over medium until it melts, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the seeds and round red chiles. Stir continuously until fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds.
Step 2Add onion. Stir occasionally, and continue cooking until it starts to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, turmeric and chile powder. Add the tomatoes and salt, and stir so all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are tender and the oil starts to separate (you’ll see the oil form an outline around the jammy tomato), about 7 minutes.
Step 3Add the fish pieces in one layer, cover and let cook over low heat for 7 minutes. Remove the lid, and flip the fish pieces so they are coated with masala on all sides. Cover again and let it cook on low until the fish is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Top with lemon juice, green chiles, ginger and fresh cilantro. Serve with roti, rice or by itself.