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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kulhimas ( Spicy Tuna Curry)



My mother taught me this recipe recently. The kulhimas recipe she taught me before was a bit different from this one and I love this one more than the first one.   Interestingly enough she told me this recipe was taught to her by her stepmother.
Now for a westerner my mother's family might sound strange but its also one of the fascinating ones. You see, I never met  either of my grandmothers, they  passed away before I was born .  But I met my step grandmother or Dhonmaama , a sweet  lady, who made me feel very tall for my 4 feet 9 inch height as she is shorter than me.

 Interestingly  my grandfather was married to both grandmothers( we are Muslims , in our religion a man is allowed 4 wives )  and they both lived in the same house.  He married my grandmother first, then fell for my step grandmother a few years later and married her. Yes, there probably was  some drama then  But once they  settled what ever differences they had, they got on pretty well and my aunts and uncle and my mother get on like a house on fire, and share a deep respect and love for each other. How my grandfather  did it I have no idea and how both grandmothers tolerated the fact they were married to the same man I have no idea because I would probably claw another woman's eyes out if they even look at my hubby .

Anyway, My step grandmother passed away  few years back.... and it was until very recently my mum suddenly remembered this recipe and showed me how to make it.

Recipe : Kulhimas ( as taught to me by my mum  )
Serves about 3-4 persons

250-300g of fresh tuna fillet, cut into bite size cubes.( thats roughly 1 fillet of a medium sized  skipjack tuna)
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp ginger paste ( or use 1/2 inch piece of ginger)
1 small onion
10 curry leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
2  or  2  1/2  tsp hot chilli powder (thats pure ground chilli powder no other  spice  added. all my recipes  require this kind  of chilli powder)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 a small unripe green mango or 3-4 billinbi or  juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
salt
about 3 tbsp oil

Use a motor and pestle or a good grinder to grind the spice paste or if no other choice chuck them in a blender ( but remember to wash well you dont want the  drinks you make in them to start tasting  garlicky)

Place your  garlic, ginger,   onion, all the spices,  coconut , curry leaves , mango or billinbi and a pinch of salt  and a few tablespoons of water in  your choice of grinder or food processor or  blender or even motor and pestle and grind to a  fine paste.


Season the tuna very lightly with a tiny bit of salt. Then mix in the paste you prepared  into the  tuna. ( If you are using lime juice add it now).

Heat oil in a suitable pot , ( no not flower pot :P)  over a medium heat . Once it heats up, add the  the tuna cubes , clean up the bowl well, add a tiny bit water in the bowl that you mixed the tuna with the spices and clean it into the  pan.

Now stir gently and  cover.  Cook over a low heat, for about 15- 20 minutes, stirring  every now and then. Since its supposed to be a fairly dry curry, remove the lid  once the tuna is cooked and let it cook another 5 minutes till almost all  the water evaporates. Taste and  adjust salt.( well during ramadhan its impossible so try and estimate how much you would normally add. For this size portion maybe about 1 level tsp of table salt would do I think).

Serve with Roshi ( or any form of bread)

Note : If you cant get hold of fresh coconut use Maggie or any other brand's  coconut milk powder , about 3-4 tablespoons  and add it when making the chilli paste mixture.

If tuna is  unavailable try with any firm fish  such as sword fish 

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