Kitchen by TILAH

Mackerel in Bird's Eye Coconut Cream (Tenggiri Masak Lemak Cili Padi)

Even though I have not fully recovered from my illness, I am very much better than last week.  However it has been raining almost daily in Singapore and for people with asthma like me, this simply means bad news.  I will have to be prepared that my asthma attacks are on standby, waiting for the right moment to hit me whenever I am careless and neglect preventive measures.  Since I can be quite forgetful when it comes to taking my medicines, I will have to make sure that I set reminders on my phone to take my meds.

Anyway, being sick and all would never stop my love for food.  I craved for my Mackerel in Bird's Eye Coconut Cream on Monday.  Mmmm...full of spicy and creamy goodness.  A recipe that is so common and well known amongst the Malays.  Since I craved it, I decided to cook it and the whole family ate it.  It was so good!

I had actually taken the day off today to attend to my husband who sprained his back. He was in great pain and I had to bring him to the doctor. It was quite a bad day for me with all the three lover boys of my life vying for my attention. After a long and eventful day, I am just glad that everybody is asleep right now and I finally get to touch my lappy before sleep.


This recipe makes a whole of a medium sized mackerel and serves about 5-6 people

*Spoon herein refers to 10ml volume

A mackerel cut into 10 - 12 pieces  (if you like your fish pieces fried first just like me, marinade them with two tablespoons of turmeric powder and salt to taste and fried till cooked)
1 lemon grass - cut into two and crushed
2 brinjals - slit in halves and cut into threes
2 tomatoes - quartered
200 ml of coconut cream
2 small bowls of water (about 400 ml)
2 pieces of tamarind peels
1 spoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder (add this only if you are not frying your fish pieces)
1 teaspoon of Ajinamoto (optional)
salt to taste

**Items to be blended into a food processor with a little bit of water to form a paste
1 large onion**
4 shallots**
6 garlics**
2 cm ginger**
3 red bird's eye chillies** - you can also mix with green ones and feel free to add more if you like smoke out of your ears!
1 fresh red chilli**


1.  Heat oil from fish frying in deep based pan.  For those who are not frying your fish pieces, you will have to heat up fresh cooking oil of course. Once heated, add in the crushed lemon grass.  Saute for a few seconds.

2.  Add in the blended ingredients.  Saute for about a minute.

3.  Add in sugar, Ajinamoto if you prefer, salt to taste and tamarind peels.  For those who are not frying your fish pieces, this would also be the time to add in your turmeric powder. Saute until oil separates.

4.  Once the sautéing mix looks a bit dried and you see oil collecting at the gaps of your mix, oil has separated.

5.  Add in coconut cream.  Give a stir.

6.  Add in water.  Give a stir. 

7.  Bring fire to medium.  Add in brinjals.  If you are not frying your fish pieces, you may add your fish pieces in now.  Bring to boil whilst stirring continuously (to prevent the cream from curdling or "pecah minyak" as it is known in Malay) until the fish pieces and the brinjals are cooked. 

8.  Add in the fried fish pieces.  If you cooked your fish pieces in step no. 7, you can omit this step.

9.  Add in the cut tomatoes.  Let simmer for another minute or two whilst continuing to stir. Don't forget to do a taste check!

10.  Off fire and serve.

Enjoy with white rice or white bread.  Happy Kitchen-ing!!


Popular Posts