Squid or calamari is called makli by the East Indians. While there are many versions of Indian squid curry you will find that this spicy east-Indian makli curry is second to none. Made with aromatic bottle masala and tomatoes this is one you will make over and over again.
It is often served as a side dish so we keep it dry but you can add a little water to make some gravy and serve it with steamed rice. Alternatively, you can add 1/4 cup coconut juice to make it a squid coconut curry. If you don’t have tamarind you can use some lemon.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Squids have elongated bodies with tentacles. They are not fish but they do live in the sea along with other fish. They are easy to spot in the fish market because they look different.
- Bottle masala – is a special spice blend made by East Indians. There is no substitute for bottle masala. But, you can also make this with a combination of spices such as 1 tsp Chily powder, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.
- Onions -Finely chopped brown onions will work great. You can also use fresh spring onions for this recipe
- Garlic, ginger – Make sure to use fresh and finely chopped.
- Chilies – I like to use large green chilies that at less spicy in combination with the bottle masala but you can use spicy chilies too.
How to clean squid/ Makli
It is very important to clean the squid, calamari, or makli thoroughly before you cook it.
- Slice the squid in half just below the eyes and separate the tentacles
- Hold the body and pull out the head, along with everything inside. Discard the innards
- Make sure to remove the clear skeleton and ink sac.
- Peel the skin and wash the squid thoroughly before you cut it
- Once clean cut into pieces for curry or slice into rings for deep-fried calamari
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- Pressure cooker
- 250 grams (8 oz) Squids Makli
Grind to a paste
- 1 med Onions small
- 4 large Garlic cloves
- 1 inch Ginger
- 2 medium Green chilies
- ¼ cup Coriander leaves Kothmir
- 2 tbsp Cooking oil
- 2 medium Tomatoes chopped
- 2 tbsp Bottle masala or less per taste
- 2 inch Tamarind ball soaked in water or 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp Black pepper
- Squids – Clean, wash, and chop the squids/makli into about 2-inch pieces. Add salt and set aside. Pro tip – detailed explanation of how to clean squid is given above.
- Masala paste – Place all the paste ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth – use a little water if necessary. Set aside.
- Saute – In a pressure cooker (or instant pot) add oil and saute the ground masala paste masala until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes followed by the bottle masala and saute until fragrant (about 2 to 3 minutes)
- Squids – Next, add the squids (makli) and saute for two minutes until well coated with the masala. Then, add 1/2 cup of water. and season with salt and pepper.
- Pressure cook Stovetop – Close the pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes after the first whistle. Let cool for 5 minutes then release pressure and open lid. Instant pot – Switch off from manual mode. Close the lid, seal the vent and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. When done let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes.
- Tamarind – Open the cooker, add the tamarind paste and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve with roti, chapati or rice.
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