If you are one of those people who have always been intimidated by making your own traditional spicy coconut milk stew and have always just used store bought or nicely-express-wrapped-in-plastic a.k.a "Brahim's", this post is for you :)
This homemade spicy smoked catfish with coconut milk is seriously so, so easy to make that you will cook this again and again for your family. My dad and husband are a spicy food lovers and they raised their thumbs up for my home cooked dishes :)
Sonia Rumzi; a book writer used to said " I cook to inspire my husband to pay attention to me". Yeahh, you're right women! y.o.u a.r.e r.i.g.h.t!! Be prepared for your family to "ooooh" and "ahhh" over this. Haha!
What you'll need: ( I double up this for our lunch since I'll be serving 6-8 peoples)
-2 medium shallots, cut in chunk (a)
-4 cloves garlic, peeled (b)
-2-inch piece of turmeric, peeled and sliced (c)
-20 bird's eye chillies (d)
-1 teaspoon salt (e)
-2 stalks lemon grass, outer husks removed and inner core cut in chunks (f)
-2 pieces of dried tamarind slices
-1 cup (250ml) thick coconut milk
-2 cups (500ml) think coconut milk
-1 piece of turmeric leaf
-10 pieces of Bilimbi, cut into halves and crush a bit to let the juice out
-7 smoked catfish (main ingredient)
Bird's eye chillies
1. mash/grind (a) + (b) + (c) + (d) + (f) until fine.
2. Transfer the puree into a pot and stir in with thin coconut milk, dried tamarind slices and torn turmeric leaf. Bring to a slow boil and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Taste, adding more of any of the spices as you prefer.
3. Add smoked catfishes and simmer until the gravy thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add thick coconut milk and salt to taste. Just before serving, stir in the bilimbies, taste and adjust seasoning.