Ambot-tik (Goan fish stew)

A popular West Indian dish from Atul Kocchar using firm fish that can take the hot and sour sauce
By Atul Kochhar
Ambot-tik (Goan fish stew)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 200 g onions, sliced
  • 20 g tamarind, soaked in water
  • 5 slices kokum, or dried mango and tamarind extract (see cooks note)
  • 400 g swordfish, or another firm fish, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 10 sprigs coriander

For the spice paste

  • 10 ml cider vinegar
  • 6 dried red Kashmiri chillies
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar

Tips and Suggestions

kokum is also called fish tamarind. It is available in UK but if you can't find it use dried mango slices and tamarind extract.


1. For the spice paste: grind together all the ingredients in a food processor or using a pestle and mortar to make a paste.

2. Heat the oil and fry the onions until brown. Add the spice paste, tamarind and its soaking water. Bring the sauce to the boil, add the kokum and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Add the diced fish and poach gently until the fish is cooked. Taste for salt, and season.

4. Garnish the stew with coriander leaves and serve with boiled rice.

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