Ambotik ( Hot and tangy Goan fish curry)


Ambotik is actually two words, ambot which means tangyΒ & tik which means spicy in Konkani. So as the name suggests, its a tangy and hot curry, made mostly using fish, shrimps or even calamari. A popular fish of choice for this curry is shark fish. The spice of this curry is well balanced with the tamarind and vinegar which forms the basis for the sour component. Unlike most Goan curries, this doesn’t use coconut at all. So it’s a great option to prepare this if you run out of freshly grated coconut and still want to cook up a delicious Goan meal! It’s best served with Goan boiled rice/ regular steamed rice , sannas ( Goan steamed rice cakes) or even pao ( Goan dinner rolls).


Like most Goan curries, ambotik taste better the next day, the flavors intensify rendering it even more delicious. In fact it’s common to see most Goan’s enjoying this curry with pao the next dayΒ for breakfast πŸ™‚

So let me share with you one of my favorite Goan curries, it brings back wonderful memories! The taste of my mum’s ambotik curry still lingers in my mouth. I’ve used that as a guideline to be able to recreate it at home, and I can happily say it tasted almost the same:)


Recipe courtesy: My mum


1 lb/ 500 grams shark fish, cut into 2 inch cubes

7-8 Kashmiri chillies ( deseeded, as per spice preference, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained)

7-8 garlic cloves

1/2 inch piece of ginger

1/4 teaspoon peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Lime sized ball of tamarind/ 1-2 tablespoons tamarind pulp

1 small onion

1 medium tomato

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

salt to taste


1.Wash the shark well, seasonΒ with little salt and set aside.


2.In your electric grinder/food processor, add in onions, tomatoes, deseeded, soaked and drained kashmiri chillies along with cumin seeds, peppercorns, turmeric powder, tamarind, garlic cloves and ginger. Make a smooth paste, add water if required.


3.Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat.Add the ground paste, Β fry Β the paste until the rawness goes away, about 5 minutes.

4.Rinse the blender used for grinding the paste with about a cup water, add to the pan . Adjust quantity of water as per desired thickness. Add little salt, vinegar, sugar. Bring this to a boil.

5.When gravy starts bubbling, add the fish. Let the curry simmer on medium low heat for another 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Taste for seasonings, adjust with more salt, sugar or vinegar for tang.




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  1. Loretta says:

    Oh you tease Freda!! I’m salivating just reading the ingredients of your ambotik curry. You’re right we always made it with shark. A favorite of Goans all around the world for sure πŸ™‚

  2. Gloria says:

    Looks yum and very delicious ! What a coincidence! I have a Mangalorean style Hot and Sour fish curry in my draft to be published tomorrow!

  3. Lina says:

    I love this curry. My mom and I tried this a few years back, but it never turned out to be like the one we had had. I think I should try this and see…I’m pretty sure it’s better than even what I have had!

  4. milliethom says:

    Another of your gorgeous Goan recipes, Freda. (Many thanks to your mum!).It looks and sounds wonderful, with all those lovely spices – and a very appealing colour. I’ve never tried shark, but it looks great for this recipe, I’m not sure whether British fishmongers sell it, but I’m sure I could find an alternative fish. πŸ™‚

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