Fresh Mackerel or sardines - 1/2 kg
Small onions (shallots/scallions) - 10-12 nos (sliced into two)
Green chillies - 3-4 (slit)
Ginger - 1 medium sized piece (julienned)
Garlic - 4 big cloves (minced)
Kudampuli (Gambooge/malabar tamarind)- 3 pieces
Curry leaves - 6-8 sprigs
Red chilli powder - 3 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Coconut oil - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Clean and cut the fish into medium sized pieces (if you are using small sardines, just snip off the head, clean the insides and use them whole).In an earthern vessal (cooking clay pot) or an ordinary skillet if you dont have its earthern counterpart, layer the curry leaf sprigs so that they form the base for the rest of the ingredients. Soak the kudampuli in water for about 5 minutes and add it into the pot along with all the other ingredients except coconut oil and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and let simmer on slow fire with the lid on. When the fish appears almost cooked add the salt. When cooked , remove from fire, take off lid add a dash of coconut oil and a few more curry leaves and replace lid. let stand for an hour before serving.
Serve with cooked rice or tapioca (cassava).
PS: This gravy tastes even more better on the next day. It doesn't spoil if not refridgerated.