Ayala (Mackerel) is a type of fish most commonly known here as Ikan Tenggiri. Varutharacha – Varutha means roasted and Aracha means ground. Basically, we would fry/saute or dry roast the shredded coconut (together with other ingredients like coriander seeds, dried chilli etc.) till it turns golden brown, depending on the recipe. In this recipe, we would saute the coconut with chilli powder and coriander powder. Then this mix is ground to a paste. Varutharacha is a popular Kerala style of cuisine and can be applied to eggs, chicken, prawns or vegetables.
This recipe is from my friend Bindu, who is famous for her various types of fish curry and sometimes she would even cook the fish curry in the traditional clay pot! I hope you do try making this dish and am sure you will enjoy it tremendously.
- Mackeral – 4 medium sized pieces
- Coconut – 1 ½ cup
- Kashmiri chilli powder – 3 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Shallots – 4
- Ginger – medium piece
- Green chilli – 2 pieces
- Kokum – 1 to 2 pieces (or small tamarind pulp mix with little water)
- Curry leaves – a bunch
- Pound the shallots, ginger and green chilli together and keep it aside.
- In a wok, heat a little oil and saute the coconut till golden brown and add all the powders. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Grind the fried coconut without water first then add little water slowly to make a smooth paste.
- Heat oil in the same wok and add the fenugreek seeds.
- Once it splutters, add the pounded shallots, ginger, green chilli and curry leaves.
- Saute well and add the ground coconut mixture to it and the kokum or tamarind pulp.
- Once it starts boiling, add the mackeral pieces.
- Add salt and let it cook to the right consistency.
- Garnish with curry leaves.