My recipe for today is Kerala fish curry with coconut milk / Thrissur style meen curry, a dish which my dear friend Dhiv mostly prepares whenever we have a potluck party...She hails from Thrissur, a city in the state of Kerala and she got this recipe from her mom...She told me that her mother prepares this fish curry with freshly extracted coconut milk, whenever they have abundance of coconut at home, and if not then she would add ground coconut to the curry. Whatever be the case, coconut is something inevitable in their curry and I think that's their main flavoring ingredient..I remember having this fish curry for the first time with some hot rice at her home and it was mind-blowingly delicious...
Fish pieces ~ 750 grams
Shallots ~ 5 nos
Indian green chillies ~ 8 nos
Garlic ~ 2 cloves
Chopped ginger ~ 1 tsp
Red chilli powder ~ 2 tsp
Coriander powder ~ 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ~ 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek powder / Uluva podi ~ 1/8 tsp
Canned coconut milk / Thick fresh coconut milk ~ 1 cup
Tamarind ~ 1 big lemon sized
Salt to taste
Coconut oil ~ 2-3 tbsp
Shallots ~ 4 nos
Fenugreek seeds / Uluva ~ a pinch
- First clean the fish and cut it to medium sized pieces, allow it to drain. Meanwhile grind shallots, green chillies,garlic and ginger to a fine paste.
- Next heat a pan / chatti (clay pot ) and add the ground paste along with curry leaves, red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and fenugreek powder.
- Then add coconut milk along with 1.5 to 2 cups of water and enough salt. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for 5-10 minutes in a medium flame. Next add tamarind water along with fish pieces and let the fish pieces boil in for about 2 minutes.
- Then reduce the flame and cook covered for 15 minutes. Finally cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes or till the gravy thickens. Remove from the flame.
- Heat coconut oil in a small pan and add sliced shallots, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds, saute till shallots turns brown in color and pour the tempered oil to the curry.
- To avoid breaking the fish pieces you should never mix the fish curry with a laddle or spoon after the fish is cooked. For mixing , you can slightly shake the pan.
- To make tamarind water - Wash and soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water and then mash it with your fingers and pass the pulp through a fine strainer.
- Traditionally this curry is prepared using fresh coconut milk, but for the sake of convenience I have used canned coconut milk. To make fresh coconut milk - Take 3 cups of freshly grated coconut and add 1 cup of water to it and then grind it in a mixer grinder for just 2-3 pulses. Finally pass it through a fine strainer and extract the milk.