Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Meen Mulakittathu - simple kerala fish curry

Dear Husband has been the master of the kitchen for a few months now. Thanks to my health and a recent surgery. He has made some real good food with instructions from me (sitting on a chair munching grapes). I will post all of those food pictures and their recipes soon.......... Oh Yes! he has made sure that I click pictures of everything that he has cooked int eh past few months.
I cannot say this enough - But, recovery would have been tough had it not been for his and our 3 year old kiddo's love and affection and constant care. Love them both to bits. I thank the Lord every second of every minute of every day for this.
Yesterday he joined his office after a 2 week leave (for my recovery). He was working from home and hence he shut his laptop at around 5:30 PM and came to the living room where kiddo and I were playing - He said he was tired of eating the frozen (home cooked) food and wanted to cook something for dinner. Well, we did not have a lot of groceries, as we were not making food everyday. Found some fish fillets in the freezer - onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger is always available in the house - and spices......... well, every Indian house has a lot of spices always readily available.
So, we set out to make a quick fish curry that could be eaten with steamed rice and that could be cooked with minimal effort.


2 pounds fish - I used boneless and skinless swai fillets - you can use Tilapia, Catfish or any other fish of your choice.
1 onion - finely chopped
1 tomato - finely chopped
5 to 6 cloves of garlic - grated
1/2 inch piece of ginger - grated
2 strings of curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 teaspoons kashmiri chilli powder - you can add more if you like the heat 
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp - kodampuli (fish kokum from kerala)  is used for this curry, since I did not have it at home, we used some tamarind pulp
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups hot water
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish


A clay pot is generally used to make kerala fish curries - Well, I have a stoneware pot and I used that - you can even use a non-stick saucepan or a karahi to make this curry.
In the vessel of your choice, add the coconut oil, when it gets hot, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the fenugreek seeds add the curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions and fry till they turn a nice pink color. To this add the tomatoes, ginger and garlic and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes are softened and the oil leaves the side of the vessel. Now add the turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, fenugreek powder, tamarind paste and asafoetida and mix well. Keep stirring for about 2 minutes till the masala powders are well integrated and the mixtures get a nice red hue. Now add 2 cups of hot water (you can add more if you want the curry to be a little less thick). Add salt to taste. Cover and let this mixture come to a boil. Once it starts to boil, bring the heat to medium low and add the fish pieces one by one. Be careful not to stir this mixture a lot, or the fish will break. Simmer for about 20 minute on medium low flame. Check if the fish is cooked, else simmer for another 10 minutes. Shut the heat, cover the vessel and let this curry sit for about an hour (you can actually make it a day in advance and let it sit for the flavors to get mulled together). Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with steaming white rice.


Julia | said...

I love fish curry! It looks so enticing with all these wonderful spices. It's an Indian dish, isn't it?

Samta said...

Thanks Julia
Yes - its an Indian Dish - from the Southernmost state of India.

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