Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Indian Mackerel Curry ~ Gulai Ikan Temenung- MFF Perlis Kedah #4

Ikan kembung (kembong) is the name known to many. In Kedah, it is known as ikan temenung, and fondly loved by people of the state. It used to be cheap when I was young, but not anymore. It's quite pricey nowadays. Usually I eat slightly larger fishes because I'm lazy to go through the bones, hehehe.

left: pre-prep, right: prepared and ready to cook!
 In the northern states, curry is known as gulai. And this dish in particular is popular in Kuala Kedah. It is eaten for breakfast. Yes, you didn't read wrongly, it's breakfast. Served with white rice, sambal belacan and fresh local herbs (ulam), it makes a hearty breakfast that probably could keep you filled for many hours. Sold for only RM1 per fish (with gravy and all), it makes an affordable meal for all.

I didn't make this for breakfast, instead it was for dinner. I had a few guests over and one of them enjoyed munching on the fish heads.

Gulai Ikan Temenung
Recipe source: My Resepi

4 indian mackerel/kembung (440gm)
150ml coconut milk
250ml water or more
1 Tbsp tamarind pulp + 50ml water (soak for a while, rub and strain the juice)

2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
1 sprig curry leaf, leaves detached
1 tsp fenugreek mix (halba campur)*
* a mix of fenugreek, black mustard seed, fennel, cumin and black gram.

1 red onion (100gm)
2 clove of garlic
25gm fish curry powder (mixed in after the onions and garlic is finely ground)

(C )
10 young okra, tops trimmed
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
2 red chillies, halved

1. Prepare B. Grind onion and garlic to a fine paste, mix with fish curry powder, set aside.
2. Heat wok and put in 3 Tbsp oil. On medium heat, saute (A) until golden.
3. Put in (B) and turn heat to medium low and sauté until very fragrant. Be slow and steady.
4. Put in 1/3 of coconut milk and cook until you see some oil oozing, then add tamarind juice and water. Bring to a boil.
5. Put in balance of coconut milk and season with salt. Bring back to a boil.
6. Put in fish and all the vegetables around it. Do not move it too much.
7. Cook for about 5 minutes or until fish cooks.
8. Dish up and serve.

I am submitting this to MFF Kedah Perlis Month hosted by WendyinKK of Table for 2...... or More


  1. must be delicious with all that mixed spices in. And btw, what is black gram? I've never come across this.

  2. Yea, what is black gram? Is it the black dhall? The fish curry looks delicious.

  3. Looks delicious
    ! Ya, this once upon a time cheap fish if quite pricey now ! Now I know what is halba campur and the use of it. Thks

  4. Mel and Phong Hong,
    Black gram is used to make Thosai too.

    Phong Hong,
    Why so expensive hoh? I also dunno.

  5. Wow.. I'm drooling looking at your curry fish picture....

  6. hai.. i come here again..
    to see the kari ikan temenung..
    best kan.. it's nyummyyy!!

  7. Wendy, I am salivating just looking at your dish. I loved ikan kembung and hasn't had it for ages! Lovely colour too!

  8. hi Wendy, u dah dapat my mail re gulai ikan temenung?...waa..urs looks more spicy huh? hehe


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