Are These India's Best Fish Curries?
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The coastal areas of India have had fish as a staple food for eons. Each state makes its fish curry differently, using local ingredients. Fish curry is a popular dish across Kerala, especially in Meen Kulambu in the Malabar region. This curry is usually served with Kerala porotta and ghee rice, or just plain rice.  

Chapala Pulusu (fish curry) in Andhra Pradesh is a popular dish that features fish cooked in a spicy tamarind sauce and spices. It is a common dish on special occasions or weekends across the state. In Tamil Nadu, fish curry is known as Meen Kozhambu and is made using the korameena (or black sole). Other fish, such as mackerel and sardines, can also be used. And this is just in the southern states.  

Orissa and West Bengal have the very famous Maccher Jhol, a white fish stew that is rich in turmeric, garlic, and onions. Doi Machh, a variation of this, involves marinating the fish in yogurt or curd. Goa is another coastal area that is a hub for seafood. Mackerel, kingfish, and other varieties are used extensively. Maharashtrians benefit from their proximity to the west coast, and make a great fish curry, as do the Mangaloreans in Karnataka with their Lady Fish Curry. 

Raw fish can be fried, roasted, or toasted. To make a really good fish curry, you can roast or toast the fish, then cook it in a masala gravy. This uses freshly ground spices and coconut to enhance the taste and aroma of the curry.  

There are many varieties of fish on the market: cod, basa, salmon, tuna, pomfret, mackerel, etc. When you start to cook them, you realize that each one has its own unique flavor profile. Before we start to learn how to cook fish, let's discuss why it is among the best sources of protein. Fish is high in vitamins and minerals such as A and D, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fat acid that may help reduce inflammation. Numerous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure and regulate blood flow, which in turn promotes mental well-being. This omega-3 cannot be produced by our body naturally, so it has to be obtained from external sources, like fish. A well-made fish curry is a delicious way of winning over even the pickiest eater.  

1.    Red Hot Chilli Fish Curry

This spicy fish curry is ideal for those who enjoy the softness of fish with an unapologetic use of spices. This curry is made with coconut oil, spices, and lots of red chili. Check out this recipe for a good way to get started with your own take on the Chili Fish Curry.  

 2.    Fish Curry With Lotus Stems 

This Kashmiri curry is a true Indian delight. The lotus flower is almost synonymous with Srinagar’s Dal Lake; if you visit Srinagar in July or August, you’ll see lotus flowers in full bloom in the Dal Lake. This hearty fish curry features surmai fish fillets, lotus stems, desi ghee, cinnamon, cardamoms, garlic, ginger, cloves, and, of course, Kashmiri chili.  

 3.    Assamese Fish Curry

This curry features Rohu in a spicy, tangy marinade of turmeric powder, fish masala, and mustard oil. Check out this excellent recipe for a tasty fish curry that you will fall in love with.  

 4.    Ilish Machh (Hilsa Fish Curry)

Do Bengalis make the best fish curries in the country? They’d argue that they do. The Hilsa fish is a very popular local delicacy. In fact, the fish is so popular that overconsumption is often reported as the cause for its high price. You can try this simple recipe or this one to gauge for yourself.  

 5.    Meen Alleppey Curry and Brown Rice

The popular fish curry comes from God's own country, Kerala. It uses raw mangoes to add tanginess to the Pomfret fillet with gravy. The fish and brown rice make this a filling meal that could well become a staple in your kitchen.  

 6.    Goan Fish Curry

This Goan fish curry is enhanced by freshly prepared masalas using red chilies, coconut, garlic, tamarind, and coconut. Every bite is spicy and tangy, making for a burst of flavors with every bite. If you’re not intimidated by the sensory overload that this dish offers, you’re in for a treat! Check out this recipe if you want to prepare one of India’s best fish curries at home. 

 7.Bommidayila Pulusu  

This mouthwatering dish is a staple in Andhra Pradesh, and locals swear by the curry made in the Godavari region. The exceptional taste of the Bommidayila fish is enhanced by this recipe if you want an authentic double burst of spice that Andhra cuisine adds to the fish curry. 

 8.    Bengali Doi Maach

This Bengali favorite is tenderly marinated and spiced before being cooked in a yogurt-based sauce or gravy. Doi maach takes less time to cook than most fish curries, and the contrast of the yogurt, spices, and fish makes for a very compelling addition to your weekend lunch or dinner. This doi maach recipe is a great place to start.  

Here are a few useful tips that you may find useful before you make fish curry at home. 

Buying Tips  

When buying fish to make a curry at home, ensure that fresh, unfrozen fish are firm and unmarred. The skin should not be dry and must not show any signs of aging. It should smell of seawater and not have a foul odor. The scales of fish should not be 'ruffled' or dry. Fresh fish should be consumed within two days of purchase, if possible. If you're buying frozen fish, ensure it is frozen solidly. Do not purchase fish that has white or dehydrated areas, or crystals in the packaging.  

 Cooking Tips  

When cooking fish, there are two main factors to remember: temperature, and time. It is important not to overcook the fish, but to cook it evenly. Remove all bones from the belly before you cook the fish. Lemon juice can be used to preserve the flavor and color of the fish. Grilling, broiling, and poaching are better choices than baking or frying to preserve the natural fats.