Goan Ambot Tik (Sour and Spicy Fish Curry)

Goan Ambot Tik

Ambot Tik, as the name suggests is a sour and spicy Goan favourite that is generally made with chunky fish like Shark or Catfish, but lends itself well to other fish or even shrimp. Served with Rice and a simple side salad, it makes for a very satisfying meal.

1/2 kilogram fish (clean, cut and apply salt)
1 large onion (chopped fine)
1 tomato (chopped fine)
4 - 6 kokum (bindi solam)
2 fresh chilies (slit)
5 - 6 Tirphal/Triphal/Teflam (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt and vinegar to taste

Masala Ingredients (to grind):
6 red chilies (kashmiri or byadgi)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 inch cinnamon
5 cloves
5 peppercorn
5 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1 inch ball of tamarind (soak in hot water and extract pulp)


1. Prep your ingredients before you begin to save time while cooking.

2. Grind the masala ingredients to a smooth thick paste.

3. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a pot and add the chopped onions to it.

4. Once the onions turn translucent, add the chopped tomato to the pot.

5. Fry for a few minutes.

6. Once the onion and tomato start to dry out, add the ground masala paste to the pot and fry for a few minutes on low heat.

7. Once the masala mix dries out, add a couple cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil.

8. Once the curry comes to a rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium and add the pieces of fish to the curry. Cover and cook for around 5 minutes.

9. Flip the fish and add the kokum and slit fresh chilies to the curry. Do a final taste test for salt and add a couple teaspoons of vinegar to give the curry some extra zing. Cook for another 5 minutes. Note: This is when you would add the teflam to the curry too, if you have them.

10. Add a pinch or two of sugar to the curry, and turn off the heat. Cover and let it rest.

11. Serve with steamed rice and a simple side salad. The flavours of this curry intensify if left to rest overnight, so eat it the next day, if you can resist it for that long.


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