Ambot Tik / Hot and Sour Fish Curry

Ambot means ‘sour’ and ‘Tik’ is spicy in Konkani, the state language of Goa.

My family comes from Goa and this dish graces our dining table whenever there’s catfish, mullet, prawns / shrimp, skate or swordfish available.

This tomatoey, decadent dish is lip-smacking good with rice!


• 1 lb fish or shrimp
• 1 1/2 tbsp oil
• 3 onions, sliced
• 1 cup water
• 2-3 ripe tomatoes
• pulp from tamarind the size of a walnut soaked in 1 cup of water
• dried kokum or dried mango slices
• curry leaves
• pinch of sugar
• salt to taste
• vinegar to taste

• 8 dried red Kashmiri chilis
• 6 peppercorns
• 6 cloves of garlic
• 1 tsp tumeric powder
• 1/2 inch piece of ginger
• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
• a dash of vinegar


1. Heat oil in a pan and fry onion and curry leaves till brown
2. Add ground masala, water, tomatoes, and tamarind pulp
3. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes
4. Bring to a boil and add kokum/mango and salt
5. Add fish or shrimp and lower heat, simmering until fish is cooked through
6. Adjust seasoning and add vinegar if desired
7. Serve over rice


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