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Fish head curry

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In Malaysia and Singapore, Fish head curry (Chinese and Indian roots) is a dish where the head of an Ikan Merah (red snapper, literally "Red fish"), is semi-stewed in a Kerala-style curry with assorted vegetables such as okra and brinjals and usually served with either rice or bread.

In Orissa and Bengal (Bangladesh and West Bengal) where the staple is rice and fish, one very popular fish head curry is made with moog orung beans but other vegetables can also be used. The gravy is very thick and very spicy and the Rui fish (Rohita) is most popular for this.

Tamarind (asam) juice is frequently added to the gravy to give it a sweet-sour taste (see asam fish); this variety of fish head curry normally has a thinner, orange gravy. Additionally, a relative amount of coconut milk is often used in the curry. It is a dish of relative popularity amongst Malaysians and Singaporeans and their tourists, although it is generally not categorised as cheap hawker fare. The origins of the modern dish began in Singapore, with a chef wanting his South Indian-style food to cater to a wider clientele, notably Chinese customers who considered fish head a specialty. Today, restaurants of not only Indian, but Malay, Chinese and Peranakan association, serve variations of this dish.

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