Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kari Kepala Ikan Bersama Belimbing Buluh (Fish Head Curry)

Kari Kepala Ikan Bersama Belimbing Buluh (Fish Head Curry). Yes my fans, its fish head curry. My first ever fish head curry in this precious space of mine, one which is a traditional, typical and authentic curry. Goes back many years back then down the road, one which I think, my age group people can still recall. Can you? Remember? Our mothers used to make? Never-mind if you can't recall, I can still though. Kari Kepala Ikan Bersama Belimbing Buluh (Fish Head Curry) is akin a special kinda curry as well because instead of tamarind/asam juice, its infused with the sour notes from belimbing buluh. Belimbing buluh by the way I think can be lumped in the star fruit family, just that its the other type. Light greenish thumb size oblong fruit which can be pickled or added into savory dishes. Believe me when I say that belimbing buluh kicks in awesomeness in fish curry, or any other curry (Green Fish Curry, Prawn Mango Curry, Murungakka Fish Curry, Ikan Asam Pedas, Pepper Mango Fish Curry, Thai Style Steamed Fish & Sardine Masak Lemak). 

This batch of belimbing, was lovingly given by my colleague. Oh-my, the thought of it is dripping my saliva out, because I just love sour things. I ate aplenty of belimbing during my growing up years after plucking from the trees nearby my house. Just like that, raw or rubbed with salt. And when mum adds it into dishes, sapu habis/wiped out too. So, receiving a full bag of belimbing buluh got me excited again, I had to make this this fish curry - fish head, belimbing, spices and curry leaves (Curry Leaf Grilled Salmon, Fish Ball Cabbage Fried Rice, Fish Cutlet, Spicy Tuna Potato, Soup Ikan Bendi & Ikan Masak Chilli Belacan). 

1 tenggiri/mackerel fish head (about 700g) - clean and chop into large pieces
10 belimbing buluh
1 tsp turmeric/kunyit powder
1 tbsp ginger paste
1/2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp onion paste
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek/halba seeds
2-3 sprigs curry leaves (shredded/sliced)
1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
4 tbsp oil
Salt to taste 
For the curry paste (mix with some water for a thick paste)
1 tbsp plain chilli powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel powder

Rub fish with turmeric powder. 
Keep aside. 
Heat oil and saute ginger, garlic and onion paste.
Splatter in mustard and fenugreek seeds.
Add curry paste and fry till oil splits
Pour 1/2 litre of water; stir and gently drop in fish. 
Simmer till fish is cooked.
Season with salt and add belimbing and curry leaves.
Gently stir.
Simmer for another 2-3 mins. 
Lastly pour in coconut milk.
Stir and remove from heat.  
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  1. I love fish head curries! And the addition of the sour fruit must have made it even more delicious. Although we get star fruits here, I have not seen belimbung here. Your curry looks delicious!

  2. It's great joy to find something related to the childhood memory!! Good to know you found this fruit tree at your friend's place and your friend is nice to share it with you..

  3. OH,,, I can't wait to be home next month, is only in South East Asian country to have the best fish head curry, pass the rice for me please ;)

  4. Simply superb Nava, the belimbing is new to me and nice info. May be I can replace it with something sour, this fish head is killing me...

  5. Remember one of our close friends mom used to make it .. It is so delicious .. Yours look lovely too

  6. This is one of my favourite dish!! So Shiok!

  7. oh my mom used to make this curry every other Sunday in winter, used to love it, missed that crunch when you bite the head and those days.

  8. hah!hah! the belimbing buluh ended up as Leatherbacks bamboo in google translate.

  9. belimbing the name is very new to me ,i have seen the fruit somewhere.its of sour taste hmm very intresting ...may be i need to try some veggie version with this .lovely colors nava

  10. argh...second time typing this...last night comment didnt go through..

    I like this belimbing buluh too but never tried eating it raw.

    Your kari makes me drool. can imagine the spicy and sour taste.

    saw two belimbing buluh tree at the field in USJ. Not sure where about coz that time we were lost. LOL...I didnt know till then that the fruit grow right out from the bark of the tree. Thought it's like longan or rambutan. but it's not

  11. Nice clicks and recipe Navs :)

  12. We make fish with this fruit we call it chemmeen puli. Chemmeen means shrimp and puli means tamarind or tang.It is so interesting to find similar recipe.

  13. Simply GORGEOUS Nava! What a lovely colour! I miss eating fish head...used to be a favourite back home at my parents. Good to know about this fruit too...never heard of it before. The flavours just make my mouth water.

  14. Wow, a fish head curry... looks exciting... Star fruit ummm, my mouth is already drooling...:)


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