Classic Kerala recipe for making Ayala Thoran or mackerel stir fry
500 g mackerel or Ayala
3 pieces of Malabar tamarind or kudampuli
1 medium sized onion (Note: use shallots, replacing the onion, as this will add more flavor)
Step 1: Thoroughly clean the mackerel. In a clay pot or manchatti, add the fish pieces along with three pieces of Malabar tamarind, a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder, salt and half a cup of water. Cover and cook until cooked through. Filter out any excess water, if any.
Step 2: Separate the bones from the fish then tear the flesh into small pieces using your hand. Set aside.
Step 3: Mix grated coconut, a few curry leaves and a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder and set aside. Chop green peppers, ginger, garlic and onion separately. Set aside.
Step 4: Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan, add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds and let it crackle. Add chopped onions and sauté for about four minutes.
Step 5: Add chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Sauté another two minutes.
Step 6: Once the coconut has been added, sauté for another minute. Also add the curry leaves.
Step 7: Add the cooked fish pieces, two or three pieces of Malabar tamarind and a fourth teaspoon of fenugreek powder. Mix well and adjust the salt as needed. Cover and cook over low heat for about two to three minutes.
Step 8: Ayala Thoran is now ready! Serve and enjoy with boiled rice or chappati.