Today’s recipe feature is a well-loved Malaysian dish. What’s not to love when the dish is a concoction of flavours – The chilles spice up the gravy, the tamarind juice lends its sourness and natural sweetness, the daun kesum, lemon grass and shallots gives the dish a potent zesty fragrance. I encourage you to make this dish if you want to feed your hungry family who would turn away at the sight of healthy but boring and blend food. This dish is definitely #healthynotboring.
Here’s a quick rundown of the health benefits in the ingredients of this dish:
1. Chillies: Chillies are high in vitamin C and vitamin A. It also contains an active component called capsaicin, which has anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties.
2. Garlic: Garlic strengthens the immune system as well as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion.
3. Turmeric: Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
4. Lemon grass: Lemon grass has anti-septic compounds that helps kills harmful micro-organisms (bacteria, yeast, fungal, parasites, etc) which is beneficial for our digestive health.
With the above information in mind, let’s start cooking!
Serves: 4 people
4 medium/large slices of Tenggiri (mackarel) (you can also stingray, Silver Pomfret, Black Pomfret or even squid or prawns)
8 ladies fingers (also known as okra) (halved)
2 or 3 tomatoes (quartered)
2 sprigs daun kesum (laksa leaf)
2 tablespoons (tbsp) tamarind paste (assam jawa)
Salt to taste
500 ml of water
2 tbsp cooking oil
8 shallots (diced)
3 cloves garlic (diced)
6 fresh red chillies, seeds removed (diced)
8 dried red chillies, soaked, halved and seeds removed (diced)
1 stalk lemon grass (serai) (use only white part, diced)
1 teaspoon belacan (shrimp paste)
3/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1. Pound the spice paste with mortar and pestle or grind them in a food processor. The cooking oil will help smooth the ingredients in the blender. Set aside.
2. Soak the tamarind paste in 1 cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Remove the seeds and the pulp. Save the tamarind juice.
3. Heat oil and fry the spice paste for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.
4. Add the tamarind juice, tomatoes, ladies fingers, daun kesum and 500 ml water. Bring to a boil.
5. When the ladies fingers and tomatoes are almost cooked, add the fish, simmer on low heat for 5 minutes or until fish is cooked. Serve hot.
i) Ladies fingers will naturally thicken the gravy. If you like thicker gravies, reduce the water and/or increase the amount of ladies fingers. Conversely, if you find the gravy too thick, you can add in additional water.
ii) You can fry two portions of the spice paste, freeze one portion and use it later.
Credit goes to: FitnessLatte