The original name of this dish is Sour Fish, Star Fruit and Chilli Stew. My hubby has selected this recipe for me to try but mentioned to substitute the star fruit with cucumbers. Just to please him, I followed his request, thus have to omit the star fruit for the title too.
Like what the chef described, this dish is somewhere between a stew and a soup. Honestly, I am not sure if this is similar to our Malaysian curry 'Assam Belai' and I don't think so.
Anyway, this curry is quite nice, appetising, sourish and aromatic. The recipe does not mentioned seasoning but I did seasoned it with some salt and sugar to taste.
Recipe adapted from the book ‘500 Curries’ with modifications
2-3 tbsp cooking oil
some shredded ginger
1-2 stalks lemongrass - bruised or sliced
450-500 ml water
1/2 cucumber - pith removed, cubed or sliced or 1 starfruit - thinly sliced
450 gm saltwater fish - cut chunky pieces
juice of 1-2 limes
some mint leaves or Basil leaves for garnishing
Ingredients For Curry Paste [Blended]
2-3 fresh red chillies
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
1 tsp tumeric powder
- Peel shallots and garlic. Cut all the paste ingredients into small pieces. Blend in processor until fine, mix in the tumeric powder [you can use 25 gm fresh tumeric].
- Heat oil in a pot, stir fry curry paste until fragrant. Add in the water, bring to boil for several minutes. Add in the lemongrass and ginger, continue to boil then lower heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Bring to boil over medium high heat, slide in the fish pieces [make sure the water is enough to cover the fish slices].
- Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, add in the cucumbers or star fruit and lime juice to taste. Simmer until all ingredients are cooked through.
- Season with some salt and sugar to taste. The curry tastes sourish. Garnish with Basil leaves or mint leaves.
- Serve hot with rice.