Since I belong to a place or race who dream, eat, love fish just like cats, the first thing that attracted me in Singapore was its love for fish prepared in a variety of sauces. Since at restaurants you are not allowed to enter the kitchen, whenever I visit a food court here, I love standing and watching with what expertise they cook in such big woks. I was particularly hooked to fish head curry for two reasons...... the enticing colour of its curry and perhaps may be recipes with fish head is very common at our place. I love and learnt to eat fish head alone ever since I was 6. Inspite of the fact that the senior at home pulls my leg saying you are still not satisfied eating mine that you need fish heads, they are must in my plate. Singapore fish head curry are quite different than that of us. It was a must do as I love variety in my food, whether its at home or for the guests.
As it goes, fish head curry was first sold in a small shop in Mt.Sophia. It was a brainchild of an Indian M.J. Gomez who suited it to the local taste. It got extremely popular among the Chinese and Malays. The spices used in this dish is heavily influenced by the South Indian fish curry. Though I feel the recipe has been modified to suit the taste buds of variety of people staying here. If ever you visit Singapore, You must visit the restaurants in and around Tekka Market or those along the Race Course Road to have a taste of authentic fish head curry. You have innumerable food courts preparing it maintaining all hygiene. The Chinese restaurants do offer this dish. If you wish to have it sitting in a cosy, homely atmosphere, visit Soma's kitchen, once you enter the door, you can feel the warmth, we assure that.
Exploring through various recipes I zeroed in on this particular recipe. You can use the same curry for preparing fish,egg or chicken.
Fish Head : 2 big[each cut into halves, I used Salmon head]
Lady's Finger : 6
Egg Plant : 2 [small variety]
Tomato : 2 medium
Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds : 1tsp
Fenugreek Seeds : 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds : 1 tsp
Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
Ginger : 3 inches chopped
Garlic : 5 cloves
Cinnamon Stick : 2 inches
Onion : 1big
Green Chillies: 2-3
Coconut Milk : 100 ml
Curry Leaves : 10 -12
Salt : As per taste
Turmeric :1 tsp.
Vinegar : 1tbsp
Oil : 3 tbsp
Clean and thoroughly wash the fish heads and marinate with little salt and the vinegar for about 1 hour.
Wash and cut the ends of the lady's fingers. Wash, cut off the ends of the eggplants and then cut into halves. Rub little salt in them.
Dry roast the cumin,coriander,fenugreek,mustard, 5-6 curry leaves, garlic, ginger, cinnamon together for 2-3 minutes. Now put all the dry roasted spices in a blender and turn into a smooth paste using water as required.
Peel, wash and slice the onions. Wash and cut each tomato into 4 pieces and deseed. Cut the big green chillies into halves. Keep the salt,turmeric and chilly powder ready along with the coconut milk. Wash the curry leaves nicely.
Heat oil in a wide mouthed wok. Fry the sliced onion till translucent. Put in the spice paste. Saute well for 2 minutes. Add the salt, turmeric and chilli powder, mix well and sauté for 1 minutes.
At this stage add I big cup water. Let the curry come into boil. Drain the vinegar water from the fish heads and add to the curry. Add the lady's finger and egg plant pieces too. Cover and let cook for 2 minutes.
Uncover and put in the tomato pieces and slitted green chillies. Pour in the coconut milk. Add the rest of the curry leaves. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Switch off, its done. Enjoy with piping hot steamed rice!!