Tallyanche Ambat Tik/ Goan Sardines Curry/ Teflache Human
A lip-smackingly delicious coconut based curry of Sardines finished with a hint of Sichuan pepper. Oil free!
This curry is everything that a Goan looks for in a fish curry. It is tangy, sour and spicy. The name “Ambat-tik” aptly describes it. Ambat means sour and tik means spicy. It is so flavorful that your taste buds will literally water when you put a spoon of rice mixed with this curry in your mouth. It can ease your tummy when you are sick of eating too much pure vegetarian food without onion & garlic. No offence to the vegetarians but I am sure fish loving Goans will understand what I mean!
Sardines and Mackerels, although very good for you, have a slightly more fishy smell. You need to use proper spices to balance out this smell. But when made right, you can just fall in love with this curry. My husband never ate any fish from curry before we got married. He only ate fried fish. And now, he just loves these from the curry. In fact, he is the one bringing them home when he finds a fresh catch at the fish market. A perk which we New Yorkers enjoy!
- Sardines - Cleaned, about 17
- Green Chilies - About 5, cut vertically
- Sichuan Pepper/Tefal - a small handful
- Water - 4 cups
- Kokum/Sola - About 4 (Optional)
- Salt - to taste
- Shredded Coconut - 2 cups
- Water - 1 cup + 3/4th cup
- Garlic Cloves - 3 (US)/ 5 (Indian)
- Ginger piece - 1/2 inch
- Tamarind - 2 marble sized balls
- Turmeric powder - 3/4th tspn
- Red Chilies - 3 whole
- 1) Apply a teaspoon of salt to the Sardines and set aside.
- 2) Grind the ingredients under 'To Grind' to a fine paste.
- 3) Transfer the ground paste to a pot. Add all ingredients except the fish and tefal. Mix well.
- 4) Bring the paste to a boil over medium flame.
- 5) In the meanwhile, wash the salt of the sardines and keep ready.
- 6) When the curry comes to a boil, add the fish in such a way that it is immersed in the curry completely. We kind of follow the poaching method here. Cook uncovered for 8 minutes.
- 7) Add tefal and cook for 2 more minutes. Adjust consistency and seasoning. Switch off the flame. Cover and let stand for about 10 minutes to let the flavors marry before serving. Enjoy with rice.
- Serves: 8-10
- 1) Fish in the curry tastes better as it ages. So if you prepare this in the afternoon, it will taste more better at night. Alternatively, prepare this curry atleast 1/2 hour before you eat your lunch.
- 2) If using thawed frozen shredded coconut, grind it with hot water. This prevents the oily texture.
- 3) Kokum is not a mandatory ingredient here. If you do not have it, add enough tamarind.