Sunday, August 29, 2010

Assam Fish (Fish in Spicy Tamarind Sauce)

I always look forward to weekends .. tell me who doesn't. These are the two days when I get to chill out and think about what to cook or bake or blog about! I sometimes I find it very hard to decide what recipes to try out as I want to experiment with so many!

I also noticed of late that I have been doing posting up more recipes on cooking rather than baking. Good for my other half as he prefers savoury foods rather than sweets. When I do tend to cook a proper dish I noticed that it is usually chicken. So maybe I should add fish into my repetiore of dishes and they do say that fish is "brain food". Hmm maybe that's the cause of my forgetfulness of late.

This particular recipe is well known and loved in Malaysia. It does not contain coconut milk and therefore keeps better in hot climates. Tamarind or "assam" as called in local Malay language is widely used throughout Asia. The word "assam" means “acid” or in layman's terms "sour". In cooking, it combines well with sugar, chillies and other flavours. Tamarind is also said to have medicinal uses. It cools the system and cleanses the blood. The pulp or paste is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is used in Chinese medicine. The bark is said to treat asthma while the flowers are said to reduce blood pressure. So this particular dish not only has medicinal value, it also stimulates your brain activity (i.e. fish meat). Now what else was I about to say .......

assam fish 2

Assam Fish (Fish in Spicy Tamarind Sauce)
Recipe Adapted from "Female Cookbook vol 12"
(Serves 4-5)


3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into quarters
500g spanish mackeral (tenggiri)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic (grind finely)
20g ginger (grind finely)
15g ketumbar (coriander powder)
10g jintan putih (cumin)
15g chilli powder
10g tumeric powder
1/2kg lady's finders
2 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp tamarind paste
2 tomatoes, cut into halves
2 green chillies - cut into halves
Salt and sugar to taste


1) Add tamarind paste to the water and squeeze the paste to extract the juice. Then pour tamarind juice through a sieve and leave aside.

2) Heat oil in wok. Fry onion with mustard seeds, garlic, ginger until fragrant. Then add in coriander powder, jintan putih, chilli powder, tumeric powder. Fry ingredients on low flame until fragrant.

3) Add in lady's fingers, tamarind water, salt, sugar, tomato and chillies. Bring to boil. Add in fish. Cook until fish and vegetables are soft.

4) Serve immediately with steamed rice.

assam fish 1


Piggy said...

yum yum, I love assam fish! It's just too bad that I can't get most of the ingredients here, so I will have to partially satisfy my craving by gawking at your pic! ;-)

busygran said...

Sedap! My hubby will drool! He loves assam fish.

Jess @ Bakericious said...

my husband's favourite, looks mouth-watering

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

WAH, Jo! My mouth is watering already. It looks like seriously good stuff!!

Cooking Gallery said...

I am not a fish eater, but this dish looks seriously good!!

Kitchen Corner said...

Wahh! Super appetizing lor! I'm drooling ... :P

Bakertan said...

Hi Jo,

I bet alot of us bloggers love weekends. Can hide at home and experiment with all sorts of recipes, haha

This dish looks appetizing and great to go along with rice,yummy~ I just learnt something new today, never knew that tenggiri is known as spanish mackeral.


Christine@Christine's Recipes said...

Your assam fish looks fab and yummy. Would love a big bowl of rice to go with it. :)

bake in paris said...

I once had in Singapore and ever since I have been dreaming of going back there to have this very special dish.

Thanks for sharing, this is indeed very special :-)

Sawadee from bangkok,

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Haven't taken Assam fish for a long long time! Yours look really good with some steamy white rice. Thanks for sharing this.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Haha, who doesn't like weekends!!?? I'm on the same boat with you! It's head-scratching time ... HAHA!

Jo, I pun sangat suka ikan assam!!! Sedapnya! Yup, very Malaysian indeed! =D ... Btw, bukan "masam" maknanya "acid" meh? Haha! I ingat "assam" means "tamarind" ... Whatever it is, I love Ikan Assam!

Why didn't you submit this to the Merdeka Open House leh? Or you did? But it's surely a nice one to go for the event! I'm sure your hubby was SO elated to gobble up bowls of steamed rice with the assam fish. =)

Happy Merdeka Day to you!! Hope to see you again! Btw, if you happen to be here during the Raya weekend, lemme know. I'm gonna see Wendy and Swee San and maybe 1 more by then. Provided you have time also lar ...

Take care. Miss talking to you already. =)

pigpigscorner said...

I don't cook enough fish =( this looks so yummy! So good with rice!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Jo, the colour looks amazing- your photos definitely whets my appetite!

tigerfish said...

Me too. Love savory food to sweets but that is because I can't bake. You are very good in both - so your family is lucky.

Oh, love Assam Fish - and with that, more rice more rice!

Angie's Recipes said...

Should not have read the post before going to I am seriously hungry!

noobcook said...

assam fish is my favourite! spicy. sour and so good with rice!

El said...

This looks like a lovely dish. Incredibly flavorful.

Lisa said...

Oh, I love tamarind (always split it up and make a refreshing juice with it when using it in a recipe) so this is something I'd definitely love to try. It looks delicious, and your photo makes it all the more mouth watering!

Anonymous said...

I am like you. There are so many recipes I want to experiment every week. I am glad tou choose this assam fish. It has gorgeous colour and I am definitely going to try this dish soon.

petite nyonya said...

this is just so delicious and appetising!

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