|Kerala Fish Curry|
Land of Kerala is famous for its fish recipes like any other coastal regions... Slight alterations in the ingredients can make a big difference as can be seen from the various fish preparations across the state...Some of my observations are here...
In Northern parts of Kerala , fish curry prepared without coconut is very popular...A main ingredient in Central Kerala fish curry is the special tamarind called Cambodge (Kokum)...& in Southern Kerala ( which includes my home town Trivandrum) fish is mostly prepared with coconut...Though my personal favorite is the one with Cambodge , I thought it better to start the journey through the different fish recipes with the the one common in my hometown itself.
Most of the locally available fishes are prepared in this style and it is one of the easiest. It makes a good combination with Rice...
Now a word on the special vessel that we use to prepare the fish curry. It is called the Meenchatti (meen , meaning fish & chatti meaning vessel in Malayalam) and is made from mud. It adds that special flavor to Kerala fish curry. Somehow I managed to get a meenchatti transported to Wollongong without breaking during my last trip...So whenever I feel like having the real flavor of Kerala fish curry, I never forget to prepare it in my meenchatti.
There are certain other ingredients which is optional for me, but is never skipped by my mom & mom in law ...they are either raw mangoes or Pulinjikka (Bilimbi)....They give that extra taste for sure...So if available please dont forget to add either of them too...
Here is the recipe of Trivandrum style fish curry....Do give it a try & Njoyyy !!
- Fish - 1/2 Kg (cut into pieces)
- Coconut - 3/4 cup (grated)
- Shallots - 10 Nos (Because of the lack of availability of shallots at Wollongong, I used to compensate it with onions. But Shallots do make their difference).
- Tamarind - 1 small lemon size
- Red chillie powder - 2 tsp
- Coriander powder - 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
- Fenugreek powder - 1/2 tsp
- Water - 1 cup
- Green chillie - 1 large ( split vertically )
- Sweet chillie - 3 Nos (split vertically)
- Raw Mango - 2 Tbsp (cut into small pieces) or Bilimbi ( 6 Nos)
- Salt - 1 tsp ( adjust accordingly)
- Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves - 2 petals
- Coconut oil - 1 Tbsp
- Clean and keep the fish pieces.
- In a mixer, blend ingredients 2, 3 and 4 to a fine paste and keep aside.
- Heat a thick bottom pan (meenchatti) and add 1/2 Tbsp oil. Keep the flame low and add ingredients 5,6, 7 and 8. Roast the powders without getting burnt.
- Now add the already prepared paste with 1 cup water to this and allow to boil.
- Add the fish pieces to this along with ingredients 10,11,12,13. Let it cook in medium flame. It may take about 15 - 20 mins.
- Heat a small pan and add the remaining oil. Once it is hot, add mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Now add the curry leaves and stir for a minute.
- Take this from heat and add on the top of the prepared fish curry. It is ready to be served now.