Mackerel with Spicy Tamarind Sauce

Mackerel with Spicy Tamarind Sauce
asam pedas melaka (kuah lada)


Grind the following ingredients starting with coriander then cumin, fennel, turmeric, chillies, belacan, coconut, garlic, ginger and onion, adding each ingredient only when the previous one is finely ground.
Heat oil, add ground ingredients and fry till fragrant.
Add salt and tamarind juice, stir, then add fish.
Cover and bring to the boil then add cabbage slices.
As soon as cabbage is cooked, remove from heat. Do not overcook cabbage.


  • 1 piece fresh turmeric (size of almond)
  • 25 dried chillies – soak
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut – roast in dry pan over low heat
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small piece ginger (size of almond)
  • 1 onion
  • 600 g (1 kt) ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel or bonito) – cut into 6-8 pieces about 1 cm (1/2 in) thick; rub with salt then wash
  • 1/4 medium sized cabbage – cut into 5 wedge-like slices; cut off hard stem
  • 10 tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind – add 3 cups water, mix and strain to get tamarind juice
  • salt to taste
Roast in dry pan
  • 1 tbsp coriander (ketumbar) seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (Jintan manis) seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel (Jintan puteh) seeds