This Sri Lankan canned mackerel curry is a flavor bomb and hits all the right notes. It's tangy, creamy, spicy, and umami yet so easy to make.
Add some oil into the pan. Add your chili powder first. And then add curry powder, turmeric powder, and ½ tsp of salt. (Do not wait until oil to heat up to add your spice powders.) Slowly roast the spice powders in oil until the oil heats up and you get a nice aroma. Make sure you stir continuously to ensure that spices roast evenly and no burning on the bottom.
Now add fenugreek seeds, a piece of Garcinia cambogia (goraka), curry leaves, pandan leaves, cinnamon pieces, minced garlic, and finely chopped onion. Sautee the mixture until onions become translucent.
Then add your diced tomatoes along with coarsely ground black pepper. Mix, cover with a lid, and cook on medium-low heat until tomatoes become mushy.
Halfway through cooking down tomatoes, open the lid and mash the tomatoes with the back of your spoon so you won’t get big chunks of tomatoes in the curry.
When the tomatoes are nice and mushy and cooked down a little bit, add the can of mackerel along with the liquid inside. (read the recipe description for more info). With a thin-edged spoon or spatula break the mackerel pieces into large chunks. I break 1 piece of mackerel into 4 large chunks. Don’t worry about bones. They are very soft and dissolve into the curry.
Add thin and thick coconut milk and split green chilies, cover with a lid and let the curry simmer in low heat for about 12-15mins. Don’t increase the heat, it would curdle the milk. Reduce the amount of thin coconut milk and increase thick coconut milk, if you want a thicker, creamier curry. (Use canned coconut milk? Check out the recipe description)
After about 10 mins, taste the curry and adjust the salt. If the curry is too thin for your liking cook it for about 5 - 7 more mins without the lid. Otherwise, continue simmering for another few mins with the lid.
When the curry has reduced to your preferred level, turn off the heat and squeeze a small wedge of lime for freshness. It would turn bright red/orange as the curry cools down and the oil comes on the top.