This fish curry is kind of a revelation to me. So far I thought we use varutharacha (roasted and ground coconut paste) masala only for theeyal and chicken or other meat items. I never knew this can be used for fish curry also. During my recent trip, when mummy (my MIL) said she is going to make varutharacha meen curry, I was quite fascinated by the idea. I was thinking about the different varieties of fish curry that we have in Kerala itself. In my home, if you say meen curry, it’s usually meen vevichathu. I think the only dish where we use coconut milk for fish is fish molly.
Btw, I was on lent that time and I was strongly tempted to break it. The aroma, the colour and the richness of the gravy was too good to resist. And me a poor soul with a weak heart couldnt resist, so I tasted it. Since, the title of “queen of excuses” is conferred upon me by my dear husband, I decided to do justice to the title. So here is my excuse… I tasted it for YOU, yes, for You only. If I had to post the recipe on the blog, I should know how it tastes right? I mean, I want only the best for YOU. Ok, jokes apart, I just tasted it and found it really hard not to lavishly enjoy it. We had it with rice that day, but it’s good with chapathi also. I think, it goes best with puttu, if you like the combination of meen chaaru (fish gravy) and puttu. Try it sometime and let me know, okies? Though I took the step by step pictures, of making the curry, I forgot to get the exact measurements of the recipe from mummy. So she wrote the whole recipe and scanned and sent it to me :)
Btw, have you started planning the Easter Menu? I’m planning to make some kozhukatta for Osana perunnal/kuruthola perunnal (Palm Sunday). Also, if you want to make Indri appam and paalu for pesaha, you can find the recipes here.
Now, back to our fish curry recipe. Here is the pic and the recipe:
Heat a pan and dry roast the ingredients listed under ‘to roast and grind’…
Roast it till it turns golden brown…
Let it cool completely. Add 2-3 tbsp of water to the roasted ingredients and grind it to a thick smooth paste…
Meanwhile, heat oil in a manchatti (earthen pot) or a thick bottomed vessel. Add pearl onions, ginger, garlic and green chilli…
After around 4-5 mins, add turmeric powder and cook for a min or two…
Add ground paste, salt and water. Let it boil. Add cocoum pieces and cook for a few more mins…
When the gravy boils, add fish pieces and swirl the pot, so that the fish pieces are coated with the gravy…
Cover and cook. When the fish is half done, add tomato (refer notes) and continue cooking till the fish is done…
Switch off the gas and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and curry leaves. Let the curry rests for a while for the flavour to settle in…
- Fish - 500 gms (refer notes)
- Grated coconut - 1 cup
- Pearl onions - 2, sliced
- Garlic - 1 tsp
- Chilli powder - 1 tbsp (refer notes)
- Coriander powder - 1 tbsp (refer notes)
- Whole black pepper - 1 tsp
- Fenugreek (uluva) seeds - 1 tsp
- Curry leaves - 4-5
- Ginger - 1 tsp, chopped
- Garlic - ½ tbsp, chopped
- Green chilli - 1-2, slit lengthwise
- Pearl onion - 5-6, sliced
- Turmeric powder - 1tsp
- Cocum (kudam puli) - 3, if its dry, soak in hot water for 5-10 mins
- Tomato - 1, cut into 4 (optional)
- Curry leaves
- Coconut oil
- Heat a pan and dry roast the ingredients (except chilli and coriander powder and curry leaves) listed under 'to roast and grind'. When coconut becomes golden brown, add chilli and coriander powder and curry leaves. Fry it for 2 more mins. Let it cool. Add 2-3 tbsp, water and grind it to a smooth thick paste.
- Heat oil in the same pan and add ½ tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp chopped ginger and 6 sliced pearl onions and 1-2 green chilli. After 4-5 mins, when the pearl onions and ginger and garlic start changing colour, add turmeric powder and cook for a min or so. Add ground coconut paste, salt and water (around 1.5 cups - 2 cups). Let it boil.
- Add cocum and cook for 2 mins. Add fish pieces. Swirl the pan to make sure that the fish pieces are coated well with the masala. Cover and cook. When fish is half cooked, add tomato (refer notes) and continue cooking till the fish is cooked completely. Switch off the gas and add 1 tbsp coconut oil and curry leaves. Let it rest for a while for the flavour to settle in.
- The colour of the curry deepens while it rests.