Spicy Tamarind-Stewed Cod & Okra

This dish has two sources of inspiration: Malaysian asian curry and Indian fish-head curry. Soak up the sauce with rice noodles or brown rice. Mackerel makes for a good substitute for the cod.



  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 8 ounces fresh okra
  • 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 pounds cod, cut into 4 portions



  1. Combine water and tamarind in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, and mustard seeds; cook, stirring often, until the shallots have softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chili powder, coriander, cumin, and turmeric; cook, stirring until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tamarind mixture, okra, chiles, brown sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the okra is tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Add fish, submerging the pieces in the liquid as much as possible. Return to a simmer. Cover and cook until the fish is opaque in the center, 3 to 5 minutes. Serves 4 (serving size: 4 oz. fish & 1 1/2 cups vegetables).



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