Brinjal Katta (Aubergine & Fried Queen Fish)

I've had a jar of Sri Lankan Fried Queen Fish (Katta) is my cupboard for a few months and lacking inspiration, or really any kind of idea, it has sat there unopened ... until today.

Brinjal Katta

Ingredients read: Fried Queen Fish, Chillies, Salt, Vegetable Oil & Rampe.

Rampe, I gather, is a large leafy green much akin to spring greens or collard. Sadly, the ubiquitous vegetable oil is in there, but so be it. Upon tasting, it became apparent that the fish was rather rough and ready, flesh, skin and bone all in there - great for flavour, but it was going to need careful eating. It was also exceptionally salty! I was going to have to balance that out somehow ... and certainly not add any salt myself.

So, what to do?

I have an aubergine. Upon googling the matter, this jarred fried fish and aubergine is quite a popular Sri Lankan recipe and so after reading half a dozen, I set about with a decent idea of what I was going to do ...

Brinjal Katta


200g Fried Queen Fish (Katta)
Half Large Aubergine
Large Onion
Spice Mix*
200ml Coconut Milk
Black Pepper

* I went with turmeric, ground coriander, paprika, garlic powder, cumin & fenugreek


Melt some butter or ghee in a skillet. Slice up the onion and sauté on a low heat to caramelise. Sprinkle the spice mix over and leave to caramelise for maybe 15 mintues. Remove from the pan, blend and return to the pan.

Add cubed aubergine to the skillet, the jar of fish, some black pepper and the coconut milk, along with some water to cover. Stir in some tamarind - half a teaspoon will do. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Ensure the dish is reduced and just before serving, squeeze in a little lime.