Initially this Ambul Thiyal dish was made in Ambalangoda and become a classic signature dish of Sri Lanka. The specialty of this dish is it will last up to one week in room temperature. The tamarind which is used to prepare for this dish is unique, we call it “Goraka” this tamarind acts as a preservative and keep this Ambul thiyal last long. This Clay pot fish used to serve during New Year with Kiri Bath.

To make Ambul Thiyal paste.

Cardamom pods 3
Coriander Powder ½ TSP
Cumin Powder ½ TSP
Roasted Curry Powder ½ TSP
Pepper 1 TSP
Chili powder ½ TSP
Cinnamon 1 medium stick
Chili flakes ½ TSP
Green chili 1
Curry leaves 1 Sprig
Ginger 1 slice
Garlic 3 Cloves
Salt ½ TSP
*Goraka 2 Pieces

*Soak the goraka in warm water for 10 minutes and make a thick paste.

 

Ingredients:-

Fish (Tuna or any firm fish) 500 gm.
Onion (Sliced) 1 Large
Fenugreek seeds ½ TSP
Cardamom pods 3
Coriander Powder ½ TSP
Cumin Powder ½ TSP
Roasted Curry Powder ½ TSP
Whole Pepper 1 TSP
Chili powder ½ TSP
Cinnamon Stick 1 medium stick
Curry leaves 1 Sprig
Ginger 1 slice
Pandanus leaf 1
Garlic 3 cloves
Salt 1/2 TSP
*Goraka 2 Pieces
Ghee or oil 3 TBS
Lime juice 1 TBS
Water to cover the fish

 

How I made it:-

  • Wash the fish gently with running water and with lime. Mix the fish with little salt and set aside.
  • Assemble all the ingredients listed above in a blender to make Ambul Thiyal paste. Add little water when you grind the paste. Set aside.
  • Heat a clay pot or heavy bottom pan and add ghee or oil and temper with fenugreek seeds, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, curry leaves, pandanus leaf, and onion sauté for 1 to two minutes until onions turn to light brown.

  • Add chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and roasted curry powder along with salt.
  • Sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add water along with tamarind juice and bring to boil about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat a clay pot or heavy bottom pan and add ghee.
  • Add the washed fish slowly and cook for 1 minute.

  • Add the gravy to the ambul thiyal paste and pour into the fish.
  • Mix well until fish get coated well with the paste.
  • Simmer until all the gravy has reduced and the fish pieces are quite dry about 10 minutes.
  • Serve with brown rice or with Kiri bath.

 Recipe adapted from