Gulha Riha | Lonumedhu

Gulha Riha

 

Do you call it Mas Gulha Riha or just Gulha Riha? Anyway, for this week’s new recipe we have this very delicious and slightly unusual curry that we hear comes from Laamu Atoll, and making it was certainly an adventure.

Our research led us to varying methods and slight differences in ingredients and spices, but lucky for us, we have a friend from Laamu who helped us out amidst the chaos with his tales of how “my mum makes it.”

Anyway, below is our version of the delicious Gulha Riha; making it definitely takes a while, but we can assure you that it would certainly be worth the effort. We've also broken down the recipe into sections because there's actually a lot to do.

 

Serves: 3-4

 

Making the fish balls

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 garlic
  • 3 curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. black peppercorns (or taste)
  • ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. grated coconut
  • 5 dried red chillies (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1 & 2/3 cups ground reef fish

Instructions:

  1. Slice the onion and garlic roughly.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the reef fish to your grinder and grind until the mixture forms a smooth paste. We used just 2 tsp. of water, but you can of course add some more if you need to.
  3. In a bowl and using your fingers, combine the spice mixture together with the ground reef fish. (And if you are wondering about how to grind your reef fish, just chop, remove bones and grind it using your grinder as usual.)
  4. Take a little piece of the mixture and use your palms to roll it into a ball. As for the size, ours had around half an inch in diameter. Make balls until you run out of the mixture.

 

Making the spice paste

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 garlic
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ tbsp. whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp. whole cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. black pepper corns (or to taste) 
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 5 dried red chillies (or to taste)
  • 1 ½ inch cinnamon
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 inch piece of raanbaa

Instructions:

  1. Slice the onion; the slices need to be a bit large as we are going to toast it together with the other spices.
  2. Heat a large pan, and to it add the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, garlic, grated coconut, curry leaves, raanbaa, dried red chillies, cinnamon, sliced onion and seeds from the cardamom pods.
  3. Keep the heat on medium and stir often. Cook until the grated coconut takes on a slightly brownish tint.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool down a bit, add some water to it (we used around 5 tbsp.), and grind the mixture into a smooth paste.

 

Making the curry

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium onion
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 3 inch piece of raanbaa
  • ¼ githeyo mirus (or to taste)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. oil
  • 1 ½ cups thin coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp. thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Slice the onion thinly. Slice the githeyo mirus too.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot and once it’s heated, add the onions, raanbaa, githeyo mirus, curry leaves and cook until the onions soften and begin to take on a brownish colour.
  3. To the pot, add in the spice paste you prepared earlier along with the thin coconut milk. Stir to combine and let it cook until you start seeing bubbles.
  4. Now add in the fish balls and salt, stir to combine and let it cook for around 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the heat in the low to medium range.
  5. Add the thick coconut milk, give it a stir and let it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. That's it. Remember to taste test and make any adjustements you want.
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