Varutharacha Meen Curry (Fish in Roasted Coconut Gravy)

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Varutharacha Meen Curry (Fish in Roasted Coconut Gravy)

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…

Varutharacha Meen Curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Side dish, gravy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
 
Ingredients
  • Fish – 500 gms (refer notes)
To roast and grind
  • 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
For gravy
  • 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
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The colour of the curry deepens while it rests.
Notes
You can use Pomfret (avoli), fresh tuna (choora), Prawns, Mackerel (ayala) for this recipe. You can use dry chilli and coriander seeds, instead of chilli powder and coriander powder, while roasting the coconut. If you are using it, use around 5-6 dry chilli and ¾ tbsp of coriander seeds. In that case, add the dry chilli and coriander seeds along with the coconut. Add tomato, only after checking the sourness of the gravy. If the curry already has required sourness/tangy taste from the cocum, do not add tomato. If you dont have cocum, you can use tamarind pulp instead.

 

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  • Sonia

    I have never made fish curry like this so really interested to try this out next time.Like you said varutha arachathu is for thiyal or kadala curry or some meat dishes as far as I am concerned. Fishcurry is either red(vevichathu) or yellow one with green mango/kokum with coconut milk Kerala styleThis looks mouthwatering.

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Sonia,

      Thanks dear! Hope you get to try this soon and like it too..

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Ammuprethesh

    You added curry leaves when u added ginger garlic n all..athu vittu paranju alle ;) he he..just kidding..looking forward to try this one as soon as lent is ovr!   hope its as good or even better than thenga aracha meen curry..does it have a theeyal knida taste?

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      hi di, looks like I missed it :( it doesnt have a theeyal kinda taste. You try it sometime kettooo…

  • Suhasini_soorian

    Wow what a mouth watering recipe.  As it is i havn’t had fish curry since long, now i will very soon  try your recipe.
    Thanks maria

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      You are welcome dear! Please do try it sometime. I hope you like it :)

  • Mary Therese

    Hey Maria !!! Thanks a million for posting this recipe. I was on the look out for a varuthuaracha meen curry dish since a long time and lo…behold !!! The colour and consistency of this dish has always fascinated me :-) . So I will try it and let you know. And Happy Easter in advance !

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks a lot for your wishes and for the comment. Hope you too had a wonderful Easter! Good to know that you were searching for this kinda recipe… Pls do try it when time permits.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Archana

    Hi Maria.
    tried and it was simply awesome…my hubby loved it too..thnks a lot… :)

    Archana

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thank you very much dear :) Really happy to know that it came out well for you.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Sherry

    Mariakuttyyehh…  :) Tried it out & came out super. Thanks from all of us… :)

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thanks Sherry dear :) Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

      Cheers
      Maria

  • jessy

     Wow it is amazing call driver in chennai

  • Pramila

    it took me a very long time to dry roast the coconut etc. – does it normally take that long or did I do something wrong? 
    Also, I noticed that in other recipes, you ask that the gravy ingredients be fried in 1tsp oil – will it change the taste if I do that here? 
    Thanks!

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Pramila,

      Yeah it takes some time to dry roast the coconut. Because if you fry it on high flame, it will get burnt fast, so it has to be done on low flame and so it takes minimum 10 mins. You can use oil in this recipe also, it wont affect the taste.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Chandrika

    Hi Maria… Firstly thanks for the lovely blog and the amazing recipes!!!! I tried this recipe and turned out very good… But was a tinge bitter coz of the fenugreek seeds… R u sure we need to add 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds… Pls lemme knw… Thank u once again n God bless!!!!

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Chandrika,

      Thanks a bunch for your kind words of encouragement dear.

      About the fenugreek seeds, I usually give measurements based on how much I use. So I’m not sure why it happened like that. There is also a slight chance that the bitter taste can come from kudampuli… sometime the puli I use have a bitter taste, so…

      Thank you very much for your wishes dear and wish you too the very best in life :)

      Cheers
      Maria

    • Peach

      Hi Chandrika, I think the bitter taste comes from overroasting the coconut. Mine was roasted to dark brown instead of golden brown and I had reduced the amount of fenugreek to 1/2 tsp. so I think the bitterness comes from over roasting. I should have checked the pic Maria uploaded before starting. I am a novice cook myself, so I might be wrong. Hope not to repeat the same mistake again. :)

      • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

        Hi,

        Thank you so much for taking time to clarify one of the queries here, appreciate it very much :)

        As you said, if the coconut is over fried, it might cause a bitter taste.

        Cheers
        Maria

  • RemyaAnoop

    Hi Maria….Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.I tried it twice and came out well.Second time when i tried,i added fried pearl onion mustard seeds and red chillies at last,it gave a nice aroma and taste to this fish curry!!Once again thanks for this recipe

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Remya,

      You are welcome dear! I’m really thrilled to know that you’ve tried this recipe more than once :)

      Thanks a bunch for the comment!

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Sapna

    Hi Maria,
    I tried this fish recipe and it came out really well.Thanks for sharing.

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Sapna,

      You are welcome dear! So glad that you liked it :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Megha

    I tried it. it was very nice. thanks for the receipe.

    Megha

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      You are welcome Megha :)

  • Harsha

    i tried this dish..it was delicious i did little variations..added dried coconut instead of fresh as did not have fresh n sauted pearl onions with mustard,cumin seeds n then grinded with dried coconut…though i am a vege,it was appreciated by all at home..thks fr sharing

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Harsha,

      Thanks a bunch for the comment! I’m really glad that it was liked by your family :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Smi_abr

    Hi Maria,
    I tried out this fish curry.It came out well.Everyone in my family just loved it.Thanks 

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Smi,

      You are welcome! I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for the comment :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Smitha

    I tired out this and it came out well.Everyone in my fmly liked it a lot.Thanks

  • moushumi

    this looks so tempting…..i want to make it tonite…..can i use dori fillets???? coz i have nothing else with me right now at home…thanks a million…..we love the kerala fish curries !!!!!

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Moushumi,

      Thank you! I havent tried it with dori fillets yet, but there is no harm in trying :) I do hope you like it.

      Happy cooking!

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Julie MAnu

    Hi Maria,
    Tried out this recipe yesterday and it was simply fantastic. My hubby loved it and so did i.

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thanks Julie :) Great to know that you guys liked it.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Jayadev

    Thanks Maria

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      You are welcome!

  • Jeena

    Hi Maria,
    thank you very much, Maria. superb curry and simple to make. i am a big fan of yours!

    Can you put some good recipes of Squid (Kanava)dishes

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Jeena,

      Thanks a lot dear :) I havent yet cooked with squid.. let’s see if I happen to cook something nice with it, I’ll post it, ok?

      Cheers
      Maria

  • http://www.facebook.com/mohini.verlekar Mohini Verlekar

    Hi! Maria tryd out this recipe it came out vry good, my hubby and kids lkd it too. Thks!

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thank you Mohini! I’m really happy that your family enjoyed this recipe :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Pingback: Unniyappam | Marias Menu

  • unni

    ????? ?????? ??????.. ??? ?????????? ??????? .. :) ? ?????? ???????????????? ????? ?????? ??????.. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/benita.dmello Benita DMello

    Hi Maria I tried the above recipe. It turned out fine but slightly bitter. Probably the amount of fenugreek seeds should be reduced. It sould be 1/2 tsp or 1/4 tsp . Thanks Benita

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Benita,

      Thank you! I’ll update the recipe with a note to adjust the qty of fenugreek seeds.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Annet

    Maria…I have to tell you this…I have fallen in love with your site! Today I tried this recipe and it came out great! : ) It was a lot browner than your pic though…we all enjoyed it! What I love about your site is that your recipes are easy and doesn’t consume time which is a blessing for someone like me who likes to spend the least time in the kitchen! :D Thank you for this amazing site!

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Annet,

      Thanks a bunch dear for your wonderful comment :) I do hope your love affair with my site grow stronger ;)

      I also dont like to spend much time in kitchen, so I usually go for such kinda recipes.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • disqus_rm0gZOOFkE

    Hi Maria,
    Tried the varutharachu kari..and it came out really well… Thanks a lot for the recipe, :) Have added this to my fav’ list..

    Neethu

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      You are welcome Neethu dear :) Glad that you liked this.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • http://www.facebook.com/roshngeorge Roshn George

    Hi, Maria.. I tried this & it was one hell of a meen curry. My Dubai friends liked it a lot. thank you and expecting more tantalizing recipes from you…

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thanks Roshn! Nice to know that your friends also enjoyed this recipe. Keep checking this space for new recipes :)

      Cheers
      Maria

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thanks Roshn! Nice to know that your friends also enjoyed this recipe. Keep checking this space for new recipes :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • http://www.facebook.com/roshngeorge Roshn George

    Hi, Maria,Thanx for this recipe. I tried this n’ my friends here in Dubai liked it a lot. Expecting more tantalizing stuffs like this..

  • http://www.facebook.com/roshngeorge Roshn George

    Hi, Maria, your blog is one of the inevitable elements my culinary life.
    Could you please come out with some traditional ‘Nasrani’ dishes…?

  • Shaluvibin

    Hi Maria I have tried quite few recipes of yours..they r all lip smacking…now it’s in my routine to log on to ur blog everyday ….keep up the good work…and I am looking forward to more recipes from you…

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thanks Shalu dear :) It’s a pleasure to know that you visit this space regularly and that you like the recipes here.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Asha Nair

    Hi Maria, this is first time i am writing to you but i have been trying out your recipes for a long time now. Must say that they all turnout superbly yummy. my husband jokingly asks too “what has our maria cheichi taught you today”..and “you must be her fav student for cooking up so well”….and so on.. oo Maria… i can’t thank you enough for sharing your excellent recipes. but still a big big Thank you for your blog… Love you.

    Asha Nair

  • Asha Nair

    Hi Maria, this is first time i am writing to you but i have been trying out your recipes for a long time now. Must say that they all turnout superbly yummy. my husband jokingly asks too “what has our maria cheichi taught you today”..and “you must be her fav student for cooking up so well”….and so on.. oo Maria… i can’t thank you enough for sharing your excellent recipes. but still a big big Thank you for your blog… Love you.

    Asha Nair

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Asha,

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment dear :) It means a lot to me.

      It’s a pleasure to know that the recipes from here works well for you..

      Please say my thanks to your husband too..

      Happy cooking!

      Cheers
      Maria

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Hi Asha,

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment dear :) It means a lot to me.

      It’s a pleasure to know that the recipes from here works well for you..

      Please say my thanks to your husband too..

      Happy cooking!

      Cheers
      Maria

  • http://www.facebook.com/trini.thomas1 Trini Subhanu

    hai mariya,
    am really happy to write you.my husband is very much tasty with “varutharacha meen curry” and i prepared that to follow with your reciepie. and we are happy to say its too tasty, thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/trini.thomas1 Trini Subhanu

    hai mariya,
    am really happy to write you.my husband is very much tasty with “varutharacha meen curry” and i prepared that to follow with your reciepie. and we are happy to say its too tasty, thanks

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thanks Trini! Glad that this recipe worked well for you..

      Cheers
      Maria

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thanks Trini! Glad that this recipe worked well for you..

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Susan

    Hi Maria,

    Tried this as well for the weekend…loved it. A change from the routine Meen curry (red one – I love that too).

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thanks Susan :) yep, it’s a different style from the red meen curry.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Sangeetha

    Hi Maria,

    Love your recipes they are so easy and delicious tried this fish curry and prawn biryani they were a hit in my home ,thanks a ton :)

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thank you Sangeerha :) Really happy to know that the recipes were a hit at your place.

  • Sana

    Hi Maria!
    I’m a big fan of your recipes! I wasn’t much into cooking before but going through your site, cooking seems very interesting.
    This dish seems mouth watering! I just have small doubt, Can we Neymeen for this? Will it be OK?
    Thanks! :)

    • http://mariasmenu.com Maria Jose

      Thank you so much Sana :) Yes, you can use neymeen for this recipe. I do hope you get to try this and like it too..

      Happy cooking!

      Cheers
      Maria