Here is an authentic south indian recipe for sea food lovers. Dry-fish (Karuvadu) is a common seafood delicacy in most non-vegetarian families in south. Mom used to make it occasionally but I almost forgot this recipe after I moved to the US. The main reason being that I don't find dry-fish in stores here and another reason is that I can't replicate the taste like mom's dish whatsoever. I lost interest in this dish altogether for the last few years. My parents have visited us this summer and after a long time I enjoyed it thoroughly when mom made this dish. It indeed brought back my old passion back and I'm now motivated to make this dish often. She adds lots of onions and slow-roasts the dry fish with mild spices and turns out to be a very flavorful dish.
Dry-fish (Any kind, Sear fish preferred) - 1 lb
Pearl Onions - 20 nos (chopped fine). You can substitue with 1 cup of finely chopped red onions, but definitely pearl onions add taste to this dish.
Red onion - 1 medium (chopped fine)
Green chillies - 4
Chilli powder - 1/2 to 1 tsp (adjust to your taste)
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - a few
- Soak the dry-fish in hot water for at least 5 mins.
- Heat some extra oil in a wide pan (A cast iron vessel is preferred).
- Add onions and green chillies and fry until onions start changing color.
- Add the dry-fish, chilli powder, turmeric and fry well. Don't add salt now as the dry-fish already has salt.
- Add 3 tbsp water and cover for 10 mins. Once the dry-fish becomes soft, check for salt. By this time dry-fish would have released it salt content. If needed, add a bit more salt.
- Raise the heat, and roast it well by continously stir-frying gently until the water completely evaporates and the oil starts to release. At this stage, the onions are fully roasted. This will take at least 10 mins.
- Add curry leaves and stir-fry slowly for another 2 -3 mins.