Charcoal grilled fish in tangy coconut sauce 'Samaki wa kupaka' : Evewoman - The Standard
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Charcoal grilled fish in tangy coconut sauce 'Samaki wa kupaka'

Ramadhan Mubarak everyone! ?

Today let's prepare some traditional grilled fish in coconut sauce also known as 'samaki wa kupaka'. This is a favourite Swahili dish that is loved in almost every families at the Coast during Ramadhan. In 'Pwani;, we love our coconuts and usually cook it with more flavors like turmeric and tamarind until it bubbles up its own natural oils.


Samaki wa kupaka

Fish marinade:
1 tbspn Garlic ginger paste
1 tspn cayenne pepper
2 lime juice
Salt to taste
1 kg whole fish (Changu) or (Tilapia)

Slice some shallow cuts into the fish on both sides, marinate the fish with the marinade ingredients. Let the fish set in the fridge for 15 minutes so that flavor can infuse well. Using a fish wire wrack (traditional chuma cha samaki) place the fish in between and cover tightly. You may use a string for ease of turning so that it cooks evenly and on both sides. Grill the fish on medium heat over a charcoal grill. Once cooked, set aside and prepare the coconut sauce.

Coconut Sauce

Ingredients
140ml heavy Coconut milk/cream
100ml thick tamarind extract (ukwaju)
1 tspn turmeric
1 lime juice
1 tbspn Minced garlic ginger paste
1 onion chopped
2 tbspn oil
Handful coriander
Salt to taste

In a pan, pour in the oil and add onion and garlic ginger paste. Sauté until onions are soft, add in the coconut milk, tamarind extract and turmeric. Stir well then add in salt to taste. Add lime juice and finally add in the coriander. Cook until the sauce is thick (about 4 minutes).

Take the fish back to the charcoal grill, then pour the sauce evenly onto the fish on both sides while on the heat. When the sauce drips into the charcoal, it will smoke the fish and give the fish a delicious coconut smoked flavour. You can have the fish on its own or with any of your favorite starches like boiled cassava, nduma or even white rice.

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