Light and aromatic, this dish is often served with seafood meals, especially by the coast, in east Bali for a lighter broth, try adding extra water instead of the coconut milk with extra tamarind.
400 gms fresh mackerel, in chunks 3 cm x 3 cm
Salt to taste 2-3 tbspn cooking oil
1 lemongrass, bruised and tied in a knot 3 salam leaves
1 torch ginger shoot, bruised 3 lime leaves
½ cup coconut milk 1 ½ cup water
6 garlic 3 shallots
½ tsp shrimp paste 1 tomato
3 large red chilli, seeds removed 3 small chilli
1 tbspn turmeric 2 tbsp galangal
2 tsp ginger ½ tbsp kencur
1 tsp corriander 3 candlenut
1 tsp tamarind 2 tsp palm sugar
¼ tspn black pepper stalk of torch ginger
2 stalk of lemongrass pinch of nutmeg
Grind the spices and tomato in a mortar and pestle, or a place in the container of a food processor and blend until it forms a paste. Add a little oil to the spices if they won’t blend in the food processor. Heat the oil in a wok over a medium flame. Fry the blended spices with the salam leaves, lemongrass, torch ginger and lime leaves in the oil for at least thirty seconds or until fragrant and glossy, stiring constantly. Add the fish to the wok and toss around until it changes colour, for about a minute. Add 1-½ cups of water and simmer until the fish is cooked. This will depend on the type of fish you are using. Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and simmer for a further minute or two. Check seasonings.
For a thicker curry, add less water and coconut cream instead of coconut milk.