Kitchen by TILAH

Fish in Tumeric Gravy (Ikan Tumis Kunyit)

fried fish cooked in tasty turmeric gravy

My ten month old had a very high fever of 39.4 degrees celsius over the weekend.  I was scared to the point of dying!  Just when I had piles of work waiting on my desk in the office and to make matters worse,  I had taken leave on the Friday before, the virus had to go on full attack on Sunday afternoon.  Imagine being torn between wanting to go back to office and clear the crap or staying at home and making sure your precious little one is safe.  The fever was tamed on Tuesday evening.  Yes, it took three days for the temperature to go down and I am just glad my pain was over.

By God's grace, I have very understanding bosses.  Had it not been for their kind understanding, imagine the torment of being a working mum with two young kids who are prone to falling ill and having to take child care leave every so often.  Still, I must thank God for everything that He has blessed me with.  My loving husband, my two wonderful children, kind bosses and needless to say, the one and only thing that has triggered my desire to blog, my lovely kitchen! I am a happy chubby mummy!!

So, naturally, when you are so perturbed with taking care of your sick child, everything must be done in the usual chop-chop way!  The rest of us need to eat therefore I need to cook.  I had a whole red snapper sliced into pieces in the freezer.   I have no idea what to cook yet but I know it had to be something simple and chop-chop.  I like the word "chop-chop".  Don't know why! ;p

As usual, I had my kitchen-ing assistant thaw the snapper and cleaned it up and as always, I like my fish fried.  I don't like to eat non-fried fish.  It is just me.  I only eat non-fried fish when I feel like eating them, say once in a year maybe.  So, after the usual marinating with two tablespoons of turmeric powder and salt, the fish went swimming in the hot oil!  Then I thought, turmeric gravy would go nicely with the fried fish.  Simple, very tasty and chop-chop! 

Ingredients are:

10-12 pieces of fish of your choice - cleaned and marinated with two tablespoons tumeric powder and salt to taste and fried till cooked and set aside
1 large onion - sliced finely
2 lemon grass - cut into two and crushed
2 sprigs of curry leaves
3-4 tomatoes - cut into fours
3 pieces of tamarind peel (or a small bowl of concentrated extract from a handful of tamarind paste)
4 green chillies - slit in halves and cut into twos (you can add some birds eye if you like it more hot!)
1 teaspoon white ground pepper
1 bowl of water
1/2 teaspoon of tumeric powder (if you are not using the oil from frying of the fish)
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste

(*items to be blended)
1 large onions
5 shallots
6 garlics
3 cm ginger


1.  Heat oil used to fry the fish in pan and add lemon grass.  Saute for half a minute.  I always use back the oil that I used to fry the fish because the flavour from the fish and tumeric is already in the oil.  If you would like to use fresh oil for this, it is okay too.

2.  Add in sliced onions and saute for a minute.  This is the time to add your half teaspoon of turmeric powder if you are using fresh oil to cook the gravy.

3.  Add in the curry leaves and saute for another minute.

4.  Add in the blended ingredients.

5.  Saute for five minutes.

6.  Add in the tamarind peels or tamarind extract and saute until fragrant and oil separates.  Inhale all that aroma ladies!!

7.  Once you see the oil collecting at the surface of your sauteing mix, oil has separated. 

8.  Add in your bowl of water.  You can add slightly more if you like more gravy. 

9.  Add in the green chillies.  Add in the teaspoon of sugar and salt to taste.

10.  Bring to a boil and let the gravy boil for five minutes over high fire.

11.  Add in the teaspoon of ground white pepper and the tomatoes.

12.  Add in the fried fish.

13.  Fold in the fried fish into the gravy and let simmer for three to five minutes over medium fire.

14.  Off fire and serve.

Best eaten with white rice.  Happy Kitchen-ing!


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