Fish, Sri Lankan cuisine, Travel inspirations
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Fish Ambul Thiyal or My sour fish curry

I had a pleasure to visit Sri Lanka earlier this year. Big thank you to my friends who made it possible and  yet another one for their unconditional hospitality <3.

During my stay I was lucky to try different sorts of food: vegetable & fish roti, spring hoppers, various sorts of curry with red rice. Not even talking about the plethora of fresh fruit & veggies. I loved it all! Naturally once back I wanted to recreate some of those fantastic dishes, and my first take was this delicious sour fish curry.

It’s not as complex as it might seem from the first look, spicy and beautifully sour in flavour. It works best with the firm white fleshed fish, however, in my version, I used regular salmon. Hope, you’ll like it!


Preparation + cooking time:  a bit more than 1 h/ Serves: 2

We would need:

  • 300 g of fish, cubed
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 5 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp of black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. of fenugreek
  • 5 pieces of goraka
  • 2 tbsp. of salt
  • 2 tbsp. of groundnut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Red & Green chillies for decoration (optional)
  • Mint leaves for decoration (optional)

Spices for roasting:

  • 2 tbsp. of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp. of cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. of fennel powder
  • 1 tbsp. of coriander powder



  1. Prepare the fish, cut it into 2,5-3 cm cubes.
  2. Take a frying pan and roast the last 4 ingredients until dark colour.  Ensure that they do not get burnt by gently swirling with a wooden spoon.
  3. Place the garlic, ginger, 1/2 tbsp. of black pepper powder, 1 tbsp. of fenugreek, 5 pieces of goraka, 2 tbsp. of salt, roasted spices with a little of water into a blender and grind into a thick paste.
  4. Coat the fish with this mixture and allow to marinate for 30 min.
  5. In a separate pan heat the oil and sauté finely chopped onion, clove, cardamom, cinnamon stick and curry leaves until onion is translucent.
  6. Add the fish along with 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until all water has evaporated ( ~15 min.)
  7. Serve with rice or paratha. Bon app!

Recipe courtesy by Rice&Curry

With love,

1 Comment

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