Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kerala Fish Curry in Coconut gravy

I guess the use of coconut milk is fish curry is more prevalent in the northern part of Kerala. In my hometown, we cannot imagine a fish curry without the rich delicious coconut milk. We do not need too many side dishes if there is a fish curry with enough "chaaru" (gravy), and it need to be tangy. We either add green mango or vinegar for the tartness. We like our rice to be soaked in the coconut gravy and slurp in the chaaru alone at the end of lunch...yum...


Fish  -1 kg, sliced
Big onion - 1 medium, thinly cliced
Ginger - 2 inch piece, thinly sliced
Garlic - 4 big pods, thinly sliced
Green chilly - 4, slit lengthwise
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Coconut milk (thick) - 1 1/2 cups
Coconut milk (thin) - 3 cups
Green mango (sliced) - 1 medium or Vinegar - 3 tbsp
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp

For tempering

Coconut oil - 1 tsp
Shallots - 4, thinly sliced
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Chilly powder - a pinch


Add coconut oil to a manchatti. Once its hot, add the sliced ginger, garlic, chilly and curry. Once the raw smell is gone, add the sliced onions and saute well. Once sauteed well, add the powders (turmeric, chilly and coriander) and saute till raw smell is gone. Now add the thin coconut milk and let it boil. Meanwhile check salt and add as per your taste. If adding green mango, add at this stage. When the coconut milk is boiling, add the cleaned, sliced fish (the fish pieced should be immersed in coconut milk). Keep the lid closed till allow the fish to cook well. Once the fish is cooked, add the thick milk and switch off the stove when its almost boiling (shouldn't allow the thick milk to boil, it might curdle).


In another pan, add 1 tsp of oil and saute the sliced onions and curry leaves. The shallots should be brown and crisp. Then switch off the stove and add a pinch of chilly powder. Stir it and then add it to the prepared fish curry. (The chilly powder adds a nice grainy red shade to the fish curry). Immediately close the lid of meenchatti (manchatti) and allow the flavours to set in. You can use it after 10 min. 

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