Periuk logo
Periuk logo
Fenugreek fish sambal

The star of this dish is fenugreek, along with the freshest fish possible. When Nisha first introduced it to her daughter Aida, she thought it was “the most delicious thing I had ever eaten”. Many components of this recipe—such as the garlic-ginger paste and chilli paste—can be made in bulk to cut down on prep time in the future.

Fenugreek fish sambal

by Nisha Mohd Ibrahim

The star of this dish is fenugreek, along with the freshest fish possible. When Nisha first introduced it to her daughter Aida, she thought it was “the most delicious thing I had ever eaten”. Many components of this recipe—such as the garlic-ginger paste and chilli paste—can be made in bulk to cut down on prep time in the future.

Servings: 4

Fenugreek fish sambal

Servings: 4

MARINADE:

300gm fresh snapper (jenahak), scaled, cleaned, and cut into 4 pieces

1 tbsp chilli powder

½ tsp roasted fenugreek powder (see Directions for preparation)

½ tsp turmeric powder

Pinch of salt

 

SAMBAL:

3 tbsp Indian sesame oil (gingelly oil), or mustard seed oil

1 pandan leaf

4 dried red chillies

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

½ tsp fennel seeds

1 stalk lemongrass

2 sprigs curry leaves

5 shallots OR 2 medium onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (see Directions for preparation)

Salt to taste

½ tsp sugar

125ml hot water

¼ tsp roasted fenugreek powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp chilli paste/cili boh (see Method section for preparation if making from scratch)

4 tbsp roasted tomato puree (see Method for preparation)

2 red tomatoes, sliced into wedges

½ tsp chilli powder

2-3 okra OR 1 small eggplant, quartered (optional)

125ml tamarind juice

3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

Roasted fenugreek powder:

Roast fenugreek seeds in a dry pan until warm and aromatic. Grind in a food mill and store excess in the freezer.

 

Marinade:

Coat the fish with marinade spices. Keep covered in the fridge for about 45 minutes.

 

Ginger-garlic paste:

Blend or pound equal amounts of fresh garlic and peeled ginger. Store excess in the freezer.

 

Chilli paste/cili boh:

If making from scratch, remove seeds from dried red chillies and soak in hot water until soft. Blend and store excess in the freezer.

 

Roasted tomato puree: 

Cut a large red tomato into quarters and roast in a pan without oil on the stovetop until charred. Let cool and puree in a blender.

 

To cook: 

  1. Heat a kadai or heavy-bottomed pot over medium flame. Pour the gingelly or mustard oil in. Once the oil is shimmering, add pandan leaf, dried chillies and mustard seeds. Fry until mustard seeds pop.
  2. Add fenugreek and fennel seeds, lemongrass, and curry leaves. Stir until fragrant. Watch the heat to make sure it does not burn.
  3. Add the onions and cook until they begin to brown.
  4. Add ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Fry for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add salt and sugar, then pour in hot water. Stir and reduce the heat. Let the gravy cook for about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add roasted fenugreek powder and turmeric powder. Stir and add more hot water if the mixture is dry, but make sure it is not too thin and watery. Cook for about 3 minutes. 
  7. Add chilli paste and cook until the oil separates (pecah minyak); this will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Add tomato puree, fresh tomatoes, and chilli powder. Mix well to form a gravy. More hot water can be added if preferred. Simmer for about 7 minutes on low heat.
  9. Add in the optional okra or eggplant and cook until vegetables are soft. This can take up to 10 minutes if using eggplant.
  10. Add tamarind juice and simmer for 3 minutes.
  11. Add in the fish and use a spoon to gently baste the fish with the gravy. Let the fish cook through for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add hot water to ensure fish is ¾ submerged.
  12. Mix in the kasuri methi, and sprinkle coriander leaves on top. Switch off heat and serve. 

Tips

  • Always, always use the freshest fish possible. Instead of jenahak, grouper, salmon, or tenggiri can also be used.
  • Canola or sunflower oil are acceptable substitutes for the gingelly or mustard oil. Do not use olive oil as its flavour profile will not meld well. 
  • There is no need to add fish curry powder to this recipe, because the tomato puree and fenugreek are the main flavour agents.
  • Kasuri methi is available at most Indian grocers or online.

Ingredients

MARINADE:

300gm fresh snapper (jenahak), scaled, cleaned, and cut into 4 pieces

1 tbsp chilli powder

½ tsp roasted fenugreek powder (see Directions for preparation)

½ tsp turmeric powder

Pinch of salt

 

SAMBAL:

3 tbsp Indian sesame oil (gingelly oil), or mustard seed oil

1 pandan leaf

4 dried red chillies

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

½ tsp fennel seeds

1 stalk lemongrass

2 sprigs curry leaves

5 shallots OR 2 medium onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (see Directions for preparation)

Salt to taste

½ tsp sugar

125ml hot water

¼ tsp roasted fenugreek powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp chilli paste/cili boh (see Method section for preparation if making from scratch)

4 tbsp roasted tomato puree (see Method for preparation)

2 red tomatoes, sliced into wedges

½ tsp chilli powder

2-3 okra OR 1 small eggplant, quartered (optional)

125ml tamarind juice

3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

Directions

Roasted fenugreek powder:

Roast fenugreek seeds in a dry pan until warm and aromatic. Grind in a food mill and store excess in the freezer.

 

Marinade:

Coat the fish with marinade spices. Keep covered in the fridge for about 45 minutes.

 

Ginger-garlic paste:

Blend or pound equal amounts of fresh garlic and peeled ginger. Store excess in the freezer.

 

Chilli paste/cili boh:

If making from scratch, remove seeds from dried red chillies and soak in hot water until soft. Blend and store excess in the freezer.

 

Roasted tomato puree: 

Cut a large red tomato into quarters and roast in a pan without oil on the stovetop until charred. Let cool and puree in a blender.

 

To cook: 

  1. Heat a kadai or heavy-bottomed pot over medium flame. Pour the gingelly or mustard oil in. Once the oil is shimmering, add pandan leaf, dried chillies and mustard seeds. Fry until mustard seeds pop.
  2. Add fenugreek and fennel seeds, lemongrass, and curry leaves. Stir until fragrant. Watch the heat to make sure it does not burn.
  3. Add the onions and cook until they begin to brown.
  4. Add ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Fry for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add salt and sugar, then pour in hot water. Stir and reduce the heat. Let the gravy cook for about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add roasted fenugreek powder and turmeric powder. Stir and add more hot water if the mixture is dry, but make sure it is not too thin and watery. Cook for about 3 minutes. 
  7. Add chilli paste and cook until the oil separates (pecah minyak); this will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Add tomato puree, fresh tomatoes, and chilli powder. Mix well to form a gravy. More hot water can be added if preferred. Simmer for about 7 minutes on low heat.
  9. Add in the optional okra or eggplant and cook until vegetables are soft. This can take up to 10 minutes if using eggplant.
  10. Add tamarind juice and simmer for 3 minutes.
  11. Add in the fish and use a spoon to gently baste the fish with the gravy. Let the fish cook through for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add hot water to ensure fish is ¾ submerged.
  12. Mix in the kasuri methi, and sprinkle coriander leaves on top. Switch off heat and serve. 

Tips

  • Always, always use the freshest fish possible. Instead of jenahak, grouper, salmon, or tenggiri can also be used.
  • Canola or sunflower oil are acceptable substitutes for the gingelly or mustard oil. Do not use olive oil as its flavour profile will not meld well. 
  • There is no need to add fish curry powder to this recipe, because the tomato puree and fenugreek are the main flavour agents.
  • Kasuri methi is available at most Indian grocers or online.

Cook next

Terung Dayak with mackerel

Tangy and comforting in any weather

Terung Dayak with mackerel

Gaeng som

A belly-warming Southern Thai dish

Gaeng som

Shukto

A deliciously bitter Bengali starter

Shukto

Cook next

Terung Dayak with mackerel
Gaeng som
Shukto
 
periuk

© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021

 
periuk