This is a spicy and sour fish curry prepared in the Western ghats of India .Ambat means sour and tikhat means hot in local Marathi language. Surmai is a sea fish locally known as king fish due to its price.It is an expensive fish pertaining to the fact that it is comparatively a difficult catch for the fishermen.Due to it boneless flaky meat and delicious taste ,it is used in many delicacies in these region.The prime ingredient used to bring sourness to this dish is the juice of a local fruit called kokum. Bottled Kokum juice is readily available in this region.The fruit is also available in packet which can be soaked in water to use the water readily in the curries.The ingredients in this dish are very few but exotic.The following are the ingredients to be used:-
- King fish also called seer fish or surmai (4 to 5 pieces)
- turmeric powder(1 tsp)
- tirphal or sichuan pepper ground (4 to 5)
- coriander seeds whole(1 tbsp)
- red chillies (dry 8 to 10)
- fresh coconut scraped ( 1 cup)
- Oil (2 tbsp)
- Kokum juice (1 tbsp)[substitute tamarind pulp]
- Marinate the fishes with turmeric ,salt and kokum juice.
- Grind fresh coconut,red chillies ,coriander seeds and turmeric into a smooth paste.
- Add 2 tbsp oil in the pan and heat.
- Add the paste and simmer on slow heat for 5 to 6 minutes.
- If you want more gravy add appropriate water and adjust the salt accordingly.
- When the gravy is thick and boiling add the fish pieces and cook for more 10 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.