Mamidikaya chepala pulusu (Mango fish curry)
The famous traditional Andhra fish curry, Mamidi chepala pulusu which means mango fish curry made with fresh water fish. The fish is cooked in a tangy sauce which tastes tastier the next day. As my grandparents are from Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh), whenever fish curry has to be made, it has to be very fresh from the fresh water lake or river. One day our neighbour gave us the mamidikaya chepala pulusu, it was delicious and tasty. The sourness of the mango pieces and the fish goes well together. Even we prepare mango fish curry but other method. In Anantapur (Andhra pradesh) we get very good fresh water fishes, which I always enjoy them.
My grandfather loves sea food; always prefer to go to market although in his service time there were maids or helpers who use to do the house work. There used to be a jeep, a driver, then 2 more people always with my grandfather, but my grandfather always prefers he selects the fish. He has travelled Vizag, Hindupur, Bobbili and settled in Anantapur. but I used to see my grandfather in my childhood, as I used to accompany him in his vehicle, where he used to go early in the morning before the jeep comes, in which the fish is bought and then it is distributed to fish mongers, where my grandfather picks the fish and check its eyes and gills and the shiny scales, from which he selects the best fish and ask the fish monger to clean. I used to enjoy as I used to see the fish alive, as the life in city is different and in towns and villages it is different. My grandfather always buys big fish 3kg or 4kg may be as it is a family get together and I have seen the fish pieces sliced are not thin but medium or big. I love the head part of the fish, I don’t know how it started but I just love it. Okay now the recipe part, while writing I just went back my childhood which I was enjoying.
When the fish is bought at home, my grandmother used to prepare, the first thing she asks is did u get the good quality fish, then she takes out, clean it, divide the fish pieces for fry and for curry. For curry she takes soft pieces the tummy ones and for frying the firm pieces, the head is my choice so curry or it can be fry, I love both.
This fish curry is eaten with plain rice, sometimes with ragi ka mudda (ragi sangati/ragi sankati)we call that is rice millet ball rice ball made with ragi(millet) powder.
The fresh river water fish like bocha, cutla(carp), rohu or any fish from fresh water goes. You can use any sea fish like vanjaram (king fish), sea bass etc.
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Cuisine: Andhra pradesh
Serves: 2 to 3
- Oil – 1/3 cup or more
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Curry leaves - 20
- Fish – 500 gms
- Onion – 2 medium or 200 gms
- Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
- Cumin powder – 2 tsp
- Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Tamarind (dry) – medium lemon size
- Mango (raw, medium size) – 1
- Green chillies (slit) – 4
- Water – 3 to 3 1/2
- Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1/4 cup
- Salt - as per taste
- The fish pieces size are medium , 1 inch thick, medium size cut, you can use fillet also.
- Cut the mango pieces medium size, add with its seed.
- Soak dry tamarind in warm water 1cup for few minutes. Extract the tamarind water by squeezing nicely tamarind in warm water. Strain the tamarind water and keep it aside. Add again 1/2 cup water to squeeze the remain extract from the tamarind. Strain again and keep it aside. I have used 1cup to 1 1/2 cup water for the tamarind water. If using tamarind paste just add water as per the curry requirement. Use the tamarind as per the sourness you like.
- Heat oil in a wide vessel and add the mustard seeds, methi seeds and curry leaves and let them splutter for few seconds.
- Add the chopped onions and fry on medium heat till the onions turn transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 1 minute.
- Add the turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt and fry for 1 to 2 mins on low flame.
- Add water 1 cup, let it boil for 5 mins.
- Add the tamarind extract 1 1/2 cup and water 1 cup, bring it to boil for 5 mins again.
- Now carefully place the fish pieces in the vessel, add green chilli, mango pieces and coriander leaves as per consistency required. Shake the vessel well instead of mixing it with a spoon. So that the fish pieces are not broken.
- Cook for 10 to 12 mins by closing the lid, till the fish curry is cooked, in between rotate the vessel, and shake it slightly. Cook till the consistency of the curry forms and rawness of the tamarind disappears.
- Reduce the flame, add salt, cover and cook on low heat for 10 to 12 mins. Let the sauce thicken and till the oil separates or leaves.
- Cook the curry in the afternoon and eat it for dinner, the fish curry tastes more delicious.
- Adjust salt and garnish with chopped coriander leaves again.
- Serve this delicious mamidi chepala pulusu (mango fish curry) with plain rice or roti (chapathi).
- You can use any fresh water fish or sea fish also like vanjaram (king fish), sea bass.
- Do not stir too much with a spoon, fish pieces can break, just hold the vessel and rotate it clock wise or antilock wise direction, by doing this the fish pieces won’t break.
- After adding tamarind water, add extra water as per the requirement require.
- You can reduce the chilli powder and green chillies as per your taste.
- If adding thick double concentrated tamarind paste (1 1/2 tsp to 2 tsp), add water as per the requirement of the curry 3 cups water.
- If you want you can add roasted methi seeds powder a pinch in the curry or the special spice powder which I have used for the Rayalaseema fish curry.