Singapore Fish Head Curry
This recipe and others can be found in the 12-part illustrated series "A World of Curries". You can read all about this unique Indian flavor here.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 curry leaves, crushed (optional)
1-inch piece galangal, peeled and grated, or substitute ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium onions, sliced
1 cup coconut milk, recipe here
1/4 cup Indonesian Curry Paste, recipe above
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons tamarind paste dissolved in 1 cup water
3 small, fresh, hot green chiles, such as serrano, seeds and stems removed, cut lengthwise in half
1 large fish head (about 1 pound)
6 small okras, parboiled and sliced
Heat the oil in a wok and fry the curry leaves and galangal for two minutes. Add the garlic and onions and fry until the onions are soft. Add the coconut milk and curry paste and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
Add the salt, sugar, tomatoes, and tamarind and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chiles, fish head, and okra and simmer, uncovered, until the meat starts to fall off the fish head, about 45 minutes.