Mackerel Curry-Aceh Style (Gulai Ikan Kembung Khas Aceh)

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This recipe was inspired by Deetha of Mlebu Pawon, my foodie fellow, who shares the same passion with me; we love Acehnese food. I have differences in cooking method and some ingredients. I marinated the fish with calamansi and baked it while Deetha used lime and deep fried the fish. I added curry leaves as well.

I categorized this into a thick soup, since it is added by coconut milk. Asam sunti (English: sun-dried bilimbi) and curry leaves are widely used in Acehnese culinary, but it seemed I have modified this recipe by adding calamansi which is widely used in Manadonese culinary.

Acehnese Mackerel Curry // Gulai Ikan Kembung Khas Aceh
Recipe by Dita, modified by me

Acehnese Fish Curry

300 g Indian mackerel (Indonesian: ikan kembung)
3 kaffir lime leaves
8 curry leaves (Indonesian: daun salam koja, daun temurui)
1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, bruised
400 ml coconut milk
sea salt
2 asam sunti (sun-dried bilimbi)
1 calamansi (Indonesian: jeruk kesturi, lemon cui)

Daun Salam Koja

Spices to Grind:
5 shallots
2 cloves garlic
3 fresh red chilies
1 fresh green chili
1 cm turmeric, toasted
2 candlenuts, toasted

Asam Sunti

For Marinating:
1 teaspoon calamansi juice by squeezing fresh calamansi
sea salt as desired

1. Preheat the oven at 350F.
2. Marinate fish for 30 minutes with salt & calamansi juice.
3. Bake fish in a oven for 10-15 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a wok and sauté ground spices, kaffir lime leaves, curry leaves and lemon grass until fragrant.
5. Add coconut milk, asam sunti and let to a boil.
6. Add the baked fish and cook until thickened.
7. Add calamansi juice and salt, stir evenly, and remove the heat. Serve with warmed cooked rice.

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About the Author

An Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg Edmonton, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.