Mas Riha (Maldivian Fish Curry)
Mas Riha is a fish curry from Maldives, the small group of islands to the Southwest of the Indian subcontinent (it’s officially the smallest country in Asia). The dish is very representative of Maldivian cuisine, which is based on three main staples: fish, coconut, and starch.
While many people associate curries with hot, humid weather, I prefer them in the cold of winter; to me, the contrast of bitter cold weather and tropical food tends to embolden the curry’s flavors. This week is our first real glimpse of winter on the East Coast (there’s snow on the ground as I type this), so it seems like the perfect time to share this recipe. Fish curry is just about perfect, since it needs so little time to cook; you can easily throw together this entire delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.
Serves: 2Serves: 2
Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
- Lightly salt the fish and set it aside. In a large skillet, warm the coconut oil on medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cardamom, ginger, curry leaves, and chile pepper slices and sautu00e9 until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the onion slices and continue to sautu00e9 until the onion softens, about five minutes.
- When the onion has softened, add the fennel, cumin, turmeric, and black pepper, and sautu00e9 until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer everything to a small blender or food processor (I used my Magic Bullet) and blend into a smooth paste, adding water if needed. Discard the cardamom pods if they didnu2019t fully blend.
- Return the skillet to the heat (again on medium heat) and add in the blended onion mixture. Stir in all but 1 tbsp of the coconut milk and add the cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to med/low and simmer until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Taste the curry and add salt if needed.
- Gently add the fish pieces to the curry, and simmer without stirring until the fish is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. The easiest way to tell if fish is done is to gently nudge it with a spoon; itu2019s ready when it slightly resists flaking. Spoon the curry into bowls and drizzle the extra 1 tbsp of coconut milk over it, then serve with rice or cauliflower rice.
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