Comfort Food · Curry · Fish · Indian · Konkani · Main Course · Mangalorean · Non Vegetarian

Quick fish curry – Salmon Phanna Upkari

I was meaning to have this This typical Konkani post done once I was back in India & when in Mangalore; with the traditional varieties of fish generally used to prepare this dish like Sardines/mackerel, but damn I missed this curry so much that I had to post this. Another reason being I love Salmon. K likes Salmon too; decided why not? Salmon should taste good in this curry. 

Salmon Phanna Upkari...

My grand mum was seafood lovers delight. All thanks to my grandfather who could not let a day pass without having a piece of fish with his meal or so they say, I never had a chance to meet him as he passed away before I was born. My grandmother also got into that habit of – have to have a piece of fish with her meal. She got so good at it that all her relatives were always talking about eating her fish curries & fry’s. Most were sure to stop by for a meal at our house when they visited Mangalore & my grandmother was always ready to cook up a yummy meal & feed them :).

This recipe is the recipe passed on to my grandmother from her aunt, rather my great grand aunts recipe. Its yummy, a tad different from the way other GSB’s/Konkani’s make their Phanna Upkari. Check the ingredients, noting exotic, very few ingredients & yet its a burst of lovely flavours with every bite.

Diwali was always looked forward by me as a kid for crackers & for the amount of fish being cooked & served at home. Diwali was always during the retreating monsoons; this always meant that the sea is less rough & the markets are filled with a varieties of fish. The most popular fish for us during Diwali was Sear fish. There would be loads of fish masala in the fridge. Slices of sear fish marinated with that fiery red masala always sitting ready to be fried in the hot oil..! I can sit all day reminiscing about it.

This curry is hot, tangy & perfect with a bowl of hot steamed/boiled rice. As for the perfect day to have this would be a cold winter/rainy day because it warms you up really well.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)     Preparation Time: 15 mins
Salmon/fish of your choice – 400 gms, washed & cleaned & cut into big chunks
Onion – 1 large, chopped, divided into 1/4 & 3/4 portions
Red chilli powder (optional) – just to add an extra zing if the chilli’s you used does not give the required hot flavour
Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Salt to taste

For the freshly ground paste:
Dried red chilli’s – 10-12, use a mix of Kashmiri/byadgi(for the colour) & Kumte(for the spice), remove all the stalks/stems of the chilli’s
Tamarind – a half of marble sized piece
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp

In a blender jar add the red chilli’s add 1/4 cup water & grind them into a paste. When the seeds present in the chilli’s are finely ground add the tamarind & the coriander seeds. Grind everything into a smooth paste. Add some more water water if required.Freshly ground red chilli paste..Heat a saucepan, set the heat to medium. Transfer this freshly ground paste to the saucepan & add half a cup of water. Mix well. Let the mixture begin to bubble. Simmer & let the raw flavours fade away.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small fry pan. Once hot throw in 3/4 portion of the onions. Add a pinch of salt & fry till golden brown. Keep aside.

Add more red chilli powder if its not as hot as you want it. Traditionally this curry is supposed to be filled with red chilli flavours & make you cry! Once the raw flavours fade away from the simmering curry, season with salt. Add more water if required, mix well. Add the fish pieces. Don’t mix the curry too much once you add the fish as the fish may tend to break. Once the fish begins to cook & turn white, add 1/4 portion of the onions. Now gently mix the curry taking care not to break the fish pieces. Check & adjust seasoning. Turn off the heat once the fish is cooked.

Curry ready..

Garnish with the fried onions. The super tasty phanna upkari which will surely make you cry & still crave for me is ready…! Keep your pets away.. they are sure to be drawn to your kitchen or your dining area with a whiff of these heavenly dish.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with a hot bowl of steamed/boiled rice.

Salmon Phanna Upkari

If it does not make your nose run, your eyes tear then you have not made it the traditional way we eat it.. !! Thank heavens there are those golden brown onions which add thier awesome sweetness & its a perfect Phann (Phann refers to tempering in Konkani) for this curry.. 

I cooked this for dinner.. hence the pictures were clicked with lights rather than the natural light that I usually prefer.

Note: The colour of the curry solely depends on the type of dried red chilli’s used. So don’t be alarmed if it does not look as red as it does here.

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry..Fish Fry with a Konkani style batterMeen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curryCrispy MusselsMy kind of Mix-Veg Thai Yellow Curry with PrawnsSungta Hinga Udda/Sungta Randai/Prawns cooked in a red hot coconut gravy – Konkani style/RHCP etc. 

10 thoughts on “Quick fish curry – Salmon Phanna Upkari

  1. Yumm! We both love salmon, usually grilled. But I am craving for some phanna upkari and this will be awesome consolation as we brave the frigid temps here. Forwarded this to M.
    Thanks for sharing, and a Happy Diwali to you both.


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