I'm breaking one of my own rules here. That I'll never publicly share any message or email that I get, even if it's regarding MM. I'm sharing a message from one of my best friends. She messaged me…
“I dont know why.. but yesterday around 6 in the evening i really really missed u..it was like for a moment i was travelling back in time and the present made no sense to me…”
The thing is we were very thick friends and over the past few years after she left Bahrain, we lost touch. I know, these days the difficult part is to get disconnected rather than get connected, but somehow it happened.
The reason why I shared the message here is because sometimes the “present” makes no sense to me too. Does it happen to you? It's not that I'm purposefully thinking about it, but a flash image of some past day comes to me without any notice. It can happen anytime, may be when I'm reading or cooking or resting. Sometimes it will be an image from my childhood, sometimes it may be from my Bangalore days, sometimes it may even be my early days in Bahrain, or an image from one of our trips, almost anything.
The thing is when I'm seeing that image, I also get the feel and smell, it's like I'm transported back to the exact point in time, weird right? Recently I had one such “time travel” and I was back in Kerala. The feel was of a busy lunch time and the smell I got was of a fish curry. I know you must be thinking either I’m crazy or I’m making up all this. Trust me it happens! My initial days in Bahrain usually smell like KFC or Cinnabon! My very first meal in Bahrain was KFC (I know!!!) and Cinnabon for dessert! Blame Jose!
Sometimes I act upon these time travels, depending on my mood. That reminds me, I’ve a blow torch stacked somewhere, which I bought after my time travel to our US trip. I was taken back to the time where we had a creme brulee at midnight, sitting on a roadside cafe in the middle of New York. That weekend I went and bought the blow torch. No I haven’t used it, yet…
Anyways, this time, I was in the mood and I happened to have some fresh fish with me.However I was a bit confused about which fish curry to make and that's when I remembered this one. I think, I first had Meen Manga Curry from Jose's place. Meen manga curry is something that Mummy (Jose's mom) makes very often. At my place, Kudampuli rules, so it's always Meen Vevichathu.
I love the combination of the sourness from raw mango, sweetness from the coconut milk and the spiciness from chili powder. This is a deadly flavour base to cook the fish. The curry has to be rested for a while, so that the fish absorbs the wonderful flavours. Writing about it, makes me want to eat a plate of rice with that fish gravy and I'm literally drooling just thinking about the flavours!! Sorry.
I strongly recommend you try this recipe, it's one of our fav ones now. I made a call to Mummy, specially to get the recipe and the tips (see the notes). I do hope you'll also enjoy this recipe and be transported to a “happy place” ;)
Here is the recipe…
Heat oil in a manchatti (clay pot) or a deep and wide pan. Add fenugreek seeds and sliced onion and small onion. When it becomes soft (no need to brown), add crushed ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 mins…
Make a smooth paste with chilli powder, turmeric powder, 1 tsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp water. Add this paste and cook for 2-3 mins, till oil starts appearing. Add 1-2 tsp of hot water and mix well. Add sliced mango pieces, curry leaves, salt and stir…
Add medium thick coconut milk and bring it to boil…
Reduce the flame to the lowest and add fish pieces. Rotate the pan, to make sure that the fish pieces are covered in the gravy. Cover and cook for 8-10 mins…
Add thick coconut milk and rotate the pan again. Cover and cook for 4-5 mins, till the gravy is thick and fish is cooked…
- 250 gms Cleaned fish (measured after cleaning and I used Pomfret, refer notes)
- 1 small Onion (sliced)
- 4-5 Small onion / Pearl onion (sliced)
- 1.5 tsp Crushed ginger & garlic (each)
- 1 – 1.5 tbsp Chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 small Raw mango (sliced (depending on the sourness))
- 1 cup Medium thick coconut milk
- 1/2 cup Thick coconut milk
- a pinch Fenugreek seeds (3-4 seeds)
- Coconut oil
- Curry leaves
- Heat oil in a manchatti (clay pot) or a deep and wide pan. Add fenugreek seeds and sliced onion and small onion. When it becomes soft (no need to brown), add crushed ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 mins.
- Make a smooth paste with chilli powder, turmeric powder, 1 tsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp water. Add this paste and cook for 2-3 mins, till oil starts appearing. Add 1-2 tsp of hot water and mix well. Add sliced mango pieces, curry leaves, salt and stir.
- Add medium thick coconut milk and bring it to boil. reduce the flame to the lowest and add fish pieces. Rotate the pan, to make sure that the fish pieces are covered in the gravy.
- Cover and cook for 8-10 mins. Add thick coconut milk and rotate the pan again. Cover and cook for 4-5 mins, till the gravy is thick and fish is cooked.
- Add a tsp of coconut oil, if required. Let the curry rest for half an hour and then serve.
You can also add coriander powder along with chilli and turmeric powder, if you like.
The flavour develops as the curry rests, make sure it rests for sometime before serving. The curry can be refrigerated for 2-3 days.
I used coconut milk powder for this recipe. To make medium thick coconut milk, add 2 heaped tbsp coconut milk powder to 1 cup lukewarm water and for thick co.milk, add 1.5 – 2 heaped tbsp co.milk powder to 1/2 cup lukewarm water. You can adjust the powder-water, ratio to suit your requirements.