Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Kari Ikan Tongkol" to go with Nasi Dagang

Yummy Yummy!

From my earlier post on how to cook nasi dagang, here is the recipe for 'kari ikan tongkol' (Kelantanese style fish curry). I'm not sure what 'ikan tongkol' is called in English. I think it's some kind of a Malaysian tuna?

Well, we eat rather heathily on weekdays as I cook almost everyday, and we definitely do not consume much salt, sugar, santan, oil and stuffs that contribute to the high level of diabesity and overweight problems that is increasing in our country. So, do take it easy with the curry since it's generously laden with santan (coconut milk). I think you may opt to use evaporated milk or use less santan, but the taste be slightly less fragrant.

This is an occasional treat where we usually invite some friends over to indulge in this yummilicious meal.

Here's sharing with you our recipe. We prefer ours with more gravy. Do note that we do use any specific measurements as every ingredients are based on estimation according to our preference.

 Our 'Kari Ikan Tongkol' recipe for approximately 10-12 pax :

Ingredients A :
~ one big bowl of shallots (approximately 4-5 handful)
~ a quarter big bowl of garlic (approximately 1-2 handful)
~ 4-5 stalks of serai (lemongrass) - more if you like the fragrance

Ingredients B :

~ 5 to 6 medium sized 'ikan tongkol' or 'tenggiri' (Malaysian tuna?)
~ santan (coconut milk) from one coconut
~ one/two cucumber (cut in big pieces)
~ long beans (cut in thumbsized length)
~ 5-6 fresh red chillies or green chillies (the light green type) - we like to have more of it
~ a few cili padi (bird's eye chillies) - if desired
~ cili giling (chilli paste, comes in a container and is easily available in the market)
~ a few pieces of asam keping or asam gelugor  (dried tamarind skin),
~ fish curry powder (we prefer Baba's brand)
~ lengkuas, thumbsize (1 to 2) (galangal)~ 2 to 3 big bowls of water
~ salt and sugar to taste

Method :

( Pre-cooking steps ) :

1) Boiled a big bowl of water in a pot with 2-3 pieces of asam keping (dried tamarind skin) for approximately 20 minutes. Turn on low fire and add in the fish. Turn off fire when fish is halfway cooked. Leave the fish in the water and let it cool totally. Cover pot and let the fish 'soaked' in the asam water overnight in the fridge. This is to ensure that the fish would have a slight sourish tangy taste. Alternatively, you may soak it for a few hours prior to cooking.

2) A few hours before cooking, do the same for the cucumber and long beans. Boil half a big bowl of water with 1-2 pieces of asam keping. Turn off the fire and add in the vegetables.
Leave the vegetables in the water for approximately one hour. You may pour away the water afrer it's cooled down.

( Cooking steps ) :

1)  Heat up oil. Lightly fry two tbsp-ful of the chilli paste.
2)  Add in ingredients (A), stire and fry over medium heat till fragrant.
3)  Add in 2-3 tbsp of fish curry powder and continue frying over medium-low heat. Be careful not to burn.
4)  Add in the bowls of water and let it boil.
5)  Add in the fresh chillies and one or two more asam keping (to your preference)
6) Add in all the fish and let it simmer on medium heat and then to low heat.
7)  Add in the asam fish water (tamarind water) from the pot that was used to 'soak' in the fish.
      Simmer on low fire for around 20 minutes or so for the flavour to come out.
8)  Add in approximately 2 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of sugar, to your preference.
9)  Gradually pour in the coconut milk and simmer on low heat for around 5 minutes.
10) Turn off fire. Add vegetables from the pre-cooking steps above into the curry before serving.
      (I prefer to keep my vegetables separated so that it's easier to scoop out).

As mentioned in my earlier post, 'kari ikan tongkol' goes well with nasi dagang which is a well known dish in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu and southern Thai, accompanied by 'acar' (pickled vegetables), hard boiled eggs, salted fish, 'sambal belacan' (a type of chilli shrimp paste) and keropok.

I've made a video here for your perusal. Happy Cooking!

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