Stingray with Sandy’s Sambal

Some of the finest catches from this coast are often not valued and stingray is one of them. Where I hail from, Stingray is considered a protein for the poor who cannot afford other catches and in fact it is served as the main curry among the fishermen-women community weddings. They make this in a very unique way with mustard and fenugreek powder and it is lip-smacking. So much so that now it has become a tradition among many coastal communities and is served during the weddings even if they can afford other varieties like kingfish and black pomfret. 6 years of my life in Mahe, I grew up eating Stingray thus it is very familiar to me. For those who are not familiar, there are a few things to remember. Stingray’s store urea in their tissues to control salt intake gets secreted once the fish starts to loose its freshness which makes them taste bad and smell like ammonia. So look for the smell and if you get the ammonia smell then you shouldn’t buy it. Usually it is more commom in bigger ones so always opt for a smaller size (15’ to 20’’, wingspan). So in a nut-shell, this simple to do recipe only requires the freshest and the right variety of stingray 

Stingray with Sandy’s Sambal

1 inch fresh turmeric
1 inch galangal
100 grams shallots
3 cloves garlic
4 redchillies
10 dried red chillies
1 tsp shrimp paste
½ lemon grass
½ inch palm sugar
2 tablespoon tamarind paste

Grind together from turmeric to lemon grass to a fine paste and sauté it in oil until the oil surfaces. Mix together palm sugar and tamarind paste and a bit of water on a low flame until the palm sugar dissolves. Get it to a sauce consistency and add it to the sautéed mixture and let it cool. Cut the stingray and use on the wings. Please watch here . Make slits on the wings and then apply the mixture generously, wrap it in banana leaf and bake it for 20 mins at 220 degree centigrade in a pre-heated oven. After 10 mins just sprinkle some water over the banana leaf so that it doesn’t dry up and finish it. Let it cool a bit, 2-3 mins and then serve.

Categories: Traditional Cuisine


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