Masala Mackerel in Curry Leaves & Tamarind Gravy

Mackerel is not just one fish, it is in fact a breed of different types of fishes all living across coasts of Pacific and Indian oceans. Wherever the fish can’t swim, the cans of mackerel are found easily. Without much ado, mackerel is one of the most popular fishes across the globe. That being said, the dearie is high in sodium, vitamin D & B12. In summers in North India, the red meat goes off as an option in the 45 degrees + temperatures so my favorite seafood reveals itself as an excellent option. Easy to handle, quick to prepare and compatible to most spices of our planet, seafood just rocks. This dish I prepare whenever I have no other option and want to “tangify” my senses in a few minutes flat. Read on & enjoy making it yourself !!


….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 per fish as per my appetite 🙂
  • Preparation time : 20 mins total

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Mackerel, cut & cleaned 1 : Mackerel is like any other fatty fish, good in Omega 3, Vitamin D & B12 hence is anti aging, anti cardiovascular diseases, anti prostrate cancer etc. It has a milder taste. So where I would cook tuna dry or blanched in salads, I know my mackerel flavors best with ground spices.
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Vinegar, 1 tablespoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar.
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 inch : Again an amazing sweet taste and flavor enhancer, cinnamon is also an anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and sugar controlling ingredient which I often use in seafood.
  • Peppercorns 4 to 5 : Pepper aids respiration and digestion. It is also an antibacterial, anti oxidant and improves skin texture. They have the obvious mild fiery flavor.
  • Cumin seeds 1/4th teaspoon : It has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Cloves 3 to 4 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, [ain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Red Chillies 2 : Dried red chillies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Tamarind paste 1 teaspoon : Tamarind fights cancer and helps in digestion. It is a good source of Vitamin C and anti oxidants. It brings the basic sour and tangy flavor to the gravy of the dish.
  • Ginger 1 inch piece : Ginger is consumed by us dried, fresh and chopped, ground dried or as a paste. It can be stored for very long and is extremely easy to grow in your garden It relieves nausea and is a pain killer. It has a warn, sweet and woody.
  • Garlic cloves 5 to 6 : Pungent, spicy and sweet flavor is accompanied with benefits of combating cold and reducing blood pressure.
  • Onion chopped 1 : I generally use the red, mild onions with white layers inside. They have a fair taste and are great in controlling blood sugar.
  • Curry Leaves 1/2 a twig of about 6 to 7 leaves : There isn’t a household in India which does not have a curry leaves plant. They have high amount of calcium, carbohydrates, fibre, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin E, B, C and A hence helping heart, hair, skin and fighting infections. Here I add them for their extreme spicy aroma.
  • Mustard Oil 1 tablespoon : This extremely pungent oil is a great source of Omega 3 and Vitamin E hence great for your skin and hair. Besides in kitchen, mustard oil is the most popular oil across the globe for body and hair massages. 
  • Salt : to taste, Mr. Congeniality, extremely adjustable

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Marinade the fish in turmeric powder and salt. This takes away the smell of the sea. Keep covered for 10 minutes in fridge or 30 minutes at regular temperature.
  • Now, coarsely grind cinnamon, peppercorns, cumin seeds, cloves, dried red chilies, tamarind, ginger and garlic using the vinegar as the liquid base. You may add a tablespoon of water if your paste seems to dry and powdery.
  • Now heat the mustard oil in a pan. As it crackles add the curry leaves to it and saute over medium flame for 30 seconds.
  • Add onions to this and stir till golden brown.
  • Now add the masala paste prepared earlier and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 & 1/2 cup water to it and cook on high for 3 minutes.
  • Add the marinated mackerel to the pan now.
  • Bring the flame to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

Storage : Are you kidding me ? I couldn’t keep my hands off it till the last slurp.

Missing Something ? : Keeping all the spices same, you can add a teaspoon of sugar to the dish to bring in a slight variation. This can be added along with the fish in the final step. Happy Cooking !!

2 thoughts on “Masala Mackerel in Curry Leaves & Tamarind Gravy

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