Gerang Assam/Assam Pedas Nyonya

Gerang Assam/Tamarind Fish Curry is a Nyonya fish curry which is sourish with spices. The word assam stands for sour and this dish is usually prepared with fleshy fish.There are many variation in the preparation of this dish. The ingredients to the dish varies from house to house. Some uses tomatoes   and bunga kantan (torch ginger). This recipe uses brinjal ,therefore I have omitted tomatoes, the tartness from the brinjal should be enough for the gravy. If you are not using brinjal, you can replace it with some chopped tomatoes. A spicy ,tangy and yummy dish that goes well with white rice.

300gm snapper (2 large slices, which you can keep whole or make into half)
1 bunch of vietnamese coriander/daun kesum
10 dried chillies (cut into a few parts, soak in hot water for 15mins, drain,grind into a paste
and keep aside)
3 lime leaves/daun limau purut
3 tsp tamarind paste, mix with half cup water, I used Adabi xtra tamarind paste,without seed
1 lemon grass, bruised
1 in toasted shrimp paste
8 ladies fingers/okras
1 brinjal, quarter
salt to taste
3 tsp sugar

To grind into a paste
1 large onion (the red variety)
4 nips garlic
2in ginger
2in fresh turmeric
3 red chilies
2in galanga (lengkuas)
2 candlenuts(buah keras)

Heat a pan, or clay pot, add about 1/4 cup oil, add lemon grass, along with shrimp paste, saute a bit then add in the grounded ingredients. Saute the ingredients until aromatic and oil starts floating on top. Add in the chilli paste and saute further, until oil floats on top again. Then add in tamarind water, and add 2 cups water. Throw in lime leaves, discard the stems and vietnamese leaves. Mix in ladies finger and brinjal. Let the gravy to simmer gently. After 5mins, add in salt and sugar. Slowly put in the fish. Coat the fish with the gravy and leave to cook for 5 to 10mins or until the fish has soften and change colour, Dish out and serve with white rice.