Fish ambulthiyal is a traditional Sri Lankan recipe which was used as a food preservation method in ancient times. This is insanely delicious and sour. The main ingredients of this recipe are fish and Brindleberry (Goraka) paste. For fish, Kelawalla (YellowFin Tuna), Thalapath(SailFish) and Balaya (SkipBack Tuna) are used. Fish should be cut into flat chunks with around 1/2 inch height.
Brindleberry (Goraka) is a common ingredient mostly used in India and Sri Lanka and also in west and central Africa. This gives a sour flavor to the dish and mostly used for meat and fish curries. It is also used as a herb and has various names such as Indian Tamarind, Malabar Tamarind, Pot tamarind and etc. The Brindleberry (Goraka) fruit is mostly used for cuisine after sun dried. This paste can be easily found in supermarkets as packets or jars or this can be made by grinding the sun dried Brindleberry (Goraka) fruits using a grinder.
To make fish ambulthiyal we need a large clay pot which has space to lay the pieces of fish in a single layer without stacking them on top. As this recipe has some amount of acidity, we should not use a steel pan or a pot. The flavor of the fish fully depends on the quality of the Brindleberry (Goraka) paste and the amount of salt added. The more you preserve it, the more it becomes tasty!
- 500 grams fish, cut into flat chunks
- 1/4 cup Brindleberry (Goraka) paste
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons pepper
- 1 tablespoon chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- bunch of curry leaves
- To a mixing bowl, add the Brindleberry (Goraka) paste.
- Pour water little by little and mix until well combined. The mixture should be a thick batter.
- Add salt, pepper, chilli powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon powder. curry powder and garlic and ginger paste. Mix all together until well combined.
- Take the fish pieces one by one and coat with the Brindleberry (Goraka) mixture. Then lay the pieces in the clay pot in a single layer.
- Repeat the process for all the fish pieces.
6. If there is leftover paste in the bowl, pour it over the fish.
7. Add the curry leaves to the dish.
8. Cook this in medium heat, covered for about 10-15 minutes. Let it simmer until water is fully evaporated.
- If you can’t find Brindleberry (Goraka) paste, can substitute it with tamarind paste but it’s sourness is more stronger than Brindleberry (Goraka).
- Do not use any spoon either steel or wooden, while the cooking is in progress. If you really want to give a mix, hold the pot from the both hands and give a little shake.
- If you have made more paste than you will be needed and if you need to save them for later, add the excess paste into a clean jar and refrigerate.
Didn’t you try out our Pol Sambola recipe yet?