Recipe for Kottayam style meen veevichathu - Fish cooked in thick chilly sauce along with kokum star:
Fish pieces ~ 500 grams ( Cleaned and sliced to medium size pieces )
Kashmiri chilly powder / Piriyan mulaku podi / Charadan mulaku podi ~ 3.5 teaspoons
Coriander powder / Malli podi ~ 3/4 teaspoon ( Optional )
Fenugreek seeds / Uluva ~ 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder / Manjal Podi ~ 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds / Perinjeerakam ~ 1/4 tsp
Shallots / Kochu ulli ~ 8 nos
Garlic ~ 4 cloves
Finely chopped ginger ~ 1 tbsp
Kokum star / Kodam puli ~ 4 nos ( Wash the kodam puli and soak it in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes.)
Curry leaves ~ 3 stems
Salt to taste
Coconut oil / Vegetable oil ~ 2-3 tablespoons
- Clean the fish and cut it to medium size pieces and marinate it with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and little salt.
- Grind kashmiri chilly powder, coriander powder, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 5 shallots, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 tbsp ginger to fine paste by adding 1 tablespoon of water/oil.
- Heat oil in a pan / manchatti and add finely chopped shallots (3 nos), sliced garlic (2 nos) , 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger, half of the curry leaves and saute till shallots become light brown in color.
- Then reduce the flame and add ground masala and keep on stirring till you get a nice aroma and your masala should turn slighty dark in color, it might take about 1-2 minutes. Next add enough water along with kokum star, curry leaves and salt and let it boil in medium - high flame for about 10 minutes.
- Finally add the fish pieces and make sure the fish pieces are fully immersed in the gravy and let it cook covered in a low flame for about 12 minutes. Cook uncovered for another 10-15 minutes and then remove from the flame.
- Kashmiri chilly powder gives this curry that bright red color without making it too hot. If you want your curry to be hot then instead of 3.5 tsp kashmiri chilly powder, add 2.5 tsp kashmiri chilly and 1 tsp regular hot chilly powder.You can alter the ratio depending upon your spice preference.
- Meen veevichathu tastes best on next day, so I mostly prepare this fish curry at night and serve on next day.
- This curry will remain unspoiled at room temperature for about 2-4 days but do make sure to warm the curry every night. For a longer shelf life, avoid adding coriander powder and do make sure to saute the shallots till it turn brown in color.
Enjoy with kappa puzhukku / Rice.