What you need:
½ Kg Fish
1 big Onion
3 Tbs Ginger Garlic paste
8 Curry leaves (optional)
1 Tbs Coriander powder/dhania
1 tsp Turmeric powder/haldi
1.5 Tbs Kashmiri Chilli powder (has a fiery red colour without being very hot in flavour. If using ordinary chilly powder, 1 Tbs is enough)
4 pieces Kodam/Ottu Puli (Special black tamarind from Kerala. If not accessible use a big lemon sized piece of tamarind from which pulp has been extracted. Or use 2 Tbs of tamarind paste)
1 cup water
Salt to taste
Oil to fry (coconut oil lends extra flavour)
1. In a blender make a paste of the onion and ginger garlic paste.
2. Rinse the Kodam puli to remove grit and soak in water for half an hour. Or zap it in the microwave on high for 1 minute with enough water to cover it.
3. Heat oil and add the paste. Fry for about three minutes on medium heat.
4. Add the coriander, turmeric and chilly powder when the paste changes colour to pink-light brown. Fry another two minutes or until the raw taste has gone.
5. Add 1 cup of water, salt to taste and the Kodam puli.
6. Bring to boil and add the fish pieces. Maintain the heat till the curry starts to boil again and then put it to simmer. Continue cooking for another 8 minutes or till done.