The distinguishing character of this spicy hot red fish curry, is the smoky sourness rendered to the fish and the gravy from the kudampulli-dried and smoked fruit rinds of the camboge tree. In Kerala, fish is traditionally cooked in an earthen pot that provides a distinct flavor to the curry.
This dish is best served with Kappa or white rice. In my family we even ate it with rotis (Indian bread) and I must say, though it sounds odd, it is a wonderful combination.
1 lb fish cut into small pieces
2 tsp red chili powder (base it on tolerable spice levels)
1 tsp paprika (mainly for the red color)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seed powder
3 –4 shallots finely sliced (if you don’t have these you can use one med sized onion)
1.5 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 kudampulli (camboge fruit rinds)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 –3 tbsp coconut oil /any vegetable refined oil
salt to taste