A Perfectly cooked Authentic Kerala Style Fish Curry in a Spicy n Tangy Red Gravy… it’s Easy, Delightful, and sooo Yummy…!!!
Your day-to-day food is made to taste great and nothing can beat an authentic recipe. My hometown Kerala, a southern state of India, is blessed with fresh seafood and a lot of coconut, thereby making both an inevitable part of my diet. Almost all Kerala dishes have coconut incorporated in some form or the other and same is the case in our fish recipes. So what’s cooking for lunch today’s? It’s none other than a fish curry, but the highlight is… I have not used coconut at all…!
This dish is a Red fish curry a.k.a. “Meen Mulakittathu” or “Meen Vevichathu”, which is the one of the easiest fish curry recipes in Kerala. Its authentic preparation involves cooking in a clay pot, as it is believed that the pot enhances the flavour of the curry. During the earlier days when refrigerators where not in use, this curry was prepared a day before and was left overnight in the clay pot for its real flavours to come out.
The use of gambooge/kudampuli is another key ingredient which actually brings a smoky tanginess to the curry. Gambooge is a fruit which once ripe, is de-seeded, sun-dried, smoked and stored, and is later soaked in hot water a few minutes before cooking. I have also used Kashmiri Red chili powder which gives the bright red color to the curry while maintaining the spiciness.
The specialty of this dish is the perfect balance of the flavours and the simplicity in its preparation. It is an absolute treat to all the fish lovers out here and goes perfectly well with a bowl of steamed rice or roti.
Enjoy, Happy Cooking!!!
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Prep time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4 -5
- ½ kg fish (any fleshy fish, I used Yellow Pompano here)
- 2-3 gambooge/tamarind/cocum
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 cup pearl onions (sliced)
- 2 green chilies (slit)
- 1 small piece of ginger (crushed)
- 3 garlic (crushed)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- a small pinch of fenugreek seeds
- 3 sprigs of curry leaves
- oil (as required)
- salt (as required)
- 1½ cup water
- Clean and cut fish into medium sized pieces. Set aside.
- Soak tamarind in ½ cup hot water for 10 mins.
- Heat oil in a pan/clay pot, splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and add curry leaves.
- Add crushed ginger & garlic, and saute till its raw smell subsides. Add sliced pearl onion along with green chilies and a little salt, saute well on a medium flame for 3 mins.
- When the onions turn translucent, add chili, coriander and turmeric powder, mix well and heat for another 2 minutes. Add tamarind and its soaking liquid, along with the remaining water and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Add fish pieces and season with salt as needed, bring the heat to medium and close the pan and let the fish cook for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Garnish with curry leaves, turn off the heat, close the pan with its lid, and allow it to cool for the flavours to blend.
Serve warm with steamed rice/roti/boiled tapioca.
- Any fleshy fish can be used including salmon, sardines, mackerel, snapper or tilapia fillets.
- Adjust the amount of chili powder to suit your spice level.
- Add water as needed to vary the gravy consistency to your preference.