Tinned mackerel is confusingly called ‘salmon’ in Sri Lanka. So this dish, in Sinhalese, is salmon hodi, or salmon in gravy. Now that I think on it, all tinned fish in Sri Lanka is called salmon. Why or why? Anyway, this is a recipe for a spicy curry of tinned mackeral. I prefer to buy the ones in oil or brine, as opposed to the ones in tomato sauce.
This is traditionally served at breakfast with crusty bread or milk rice. I like this dish to be really spicy and find the addition of lots of black pepper critical to attain that ‘heat’.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
- handful of curry leaves
- 1tsp mustard seeds
- 2 cm piece of cinnamon
- 1 pandan leaf chopped
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 tsp each Sri Lankan curry powder, chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 green chillis sliced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tomatoes sliced
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2-3 banana chillis (optional)
- 1 400g tin of mackeraldrained and lightly separated into chunks
In a medium saucepan or a deep frying pan, add you oil. When hot add the mustard seeds, cinnamon, pandan leaf, curry leaves and onion. Fry until the onion begins to colour. Add the curry powder, chilli powder, turmeric, salt and chilli. Fry until the the spices start to get up your nose, couple of minutes should do it.
Add the tomatoes and fry until soft. Now add the coconut milk and 1/2 a cup of water. Let the pot come to the boil and let simmer for 5 minutes until thick and well combined. Add the banana chillis and stir, finally add the mackerel and cook until the sauce and fish are just warmed through.