Quilon is a coastal area and they are famous for their unique cuisine, which mainly focuses on seafood. This is a popular dish made from small shark, called “sravu” in Kerala. Shark Curry, or Varutharacha sravu curry. It’s a thick dark brown curry with the taste of a variety of spices flirting with your taste-buds, making it almost impossible to decide which flavor taste’s better. It’s a lil tangy, a lil bitter, lil spicy and very hot! If your tongue has even a little ability to take hot and spicy food, make the best use of it while eating this, coz this is one of those curries which tends to be stubborn on being itself and not being altered at all. Not that it is any less tasty if you make slight changes, but if you reduce the spices in this recipe, it loses some of it original charm. But I’m sure you’d still enjoy it no less.
- Shark 500 gms, Cleaned and cut into cubes
- Coconut 1, grated
- Methi 1/4 tsp
- Turmeric 1/4 tsp
- Saunf 1/2 tsp
- Peppercorns 1 tsp
- Coriander seeds 2 tbsp
- Kashmir chilies, the long wrinkled ones 5 (For color)
- Spicy dry red chillies 5
- Shallots 3 (This is used to balance the smell and flavor of all the spices)
- Tomato 1
- Green chillies 3 or 4 (You can reduce or avoid this one if your tongue is on the sober side, coz it wouldn’t make a huge difference to the curry’s texture or color unlike the dry chillies or pepper)
- Curry leaves 2 sprigs
- ‘Kudampuli’ or kochampuli 3 strips or pieces (Soaked in 3/4 cup hot water)
- Coconut oil
- Curry leaves 1 sprig
- Dry red chillies 2 Broken into 2 or 3 pieces
- Shallots 5-6, sliced
- Roast the ingredients 2 – 10 together, till the coconut starts to turn golden in color. Let it cool.
- Once its cool, grind it into a smooth paste and keep aside.
- Heat a Meen-chatti (Flat earthen pot used mainly or rather exclusively for cooking fish in Kerala), add tomato green chillies, 2 sprigs of curry leaves and the soaked kochampuli (with the water). Saute till the tomato becomes soft.
- Add the fish pieces, stir slowly and carefully so as not to break the fish.
- When the fish turns white in color, add the ground masala.
- When it starts to boil turn off the heat. Don’t let it boil for long coz it makes the gravy watery and looses the texture of the curry.
- Heat the coconut oil, and add the remaining ingredients for seasoning.
- Add this to the curry, close lid immediately and keep aside for at least 1 hour before serving. This curry tastes good with plain white rice.