Each region in Kerala has its own version of Fish Curry with its own unique flavor. The version here is the Kottayam Style Spicy Fish Curry which uses Kudampuli (Coccum), where as if you go to the Trivandrum side you would find fish curries that uses Vaalan puli (Tamarind). The Fish Curry here is also referred to as the Toddy Shop Fish Curry (Shappile Meen Curry) as it is the kind served in the toddy shops in Kerala. The taste of this curry is enhanced when served the next day. It would be ideal to use a 'manchatti' (Earthen pot) which also adds to the taste of the curry.
Serves 8-10 people
|Coconut Oil||- 3 tbsp|
|Mustard seeds||- 1/2 tsp|
|Curry Leaves||- 2 twigs|
|Fish||- 1 lbs (I used Tilapia; Any kind of fish is fine)|
|Shallots||- 1/2 lbs|
|Ginger Garlic Paste||- 2 tbsp|
|Coccum||- 4 pieces|
|Water||- 2 1/4 cup + 7 tbsp|
|Kashmiri Chilly Powder||- 3 tbsp|
|Turmeric Powder||- 1/2 tsp|
|Coriander Powder||- 1 tbsp|
|Fenugreek Powder||- 1/2 tsp|
|Salt||- to taste|
- Add the coccum pieces to a cup of water and keep aside.
- In a mixer, grind the shallots with no or little water. You do not have to make it a fine paste.
- Mix Kashmiri Chilly Powder, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder and Fenugreek Powder with 7 tbsp of water and keep the powder paste aside. This is a spicy curry; adjust the chilly powder as it suits your taste.
- In a pan or earthen pot, heat the coconut oil.
- When the oil is hot, splutter the mustard seeds and 1 twig of curry leaves.
- Add the ground shallots to the oil and saute until all water is evaporated and it starts to become a light brown color.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and saute again until the raw smell is gone.
- Add the powder paste to pan and saute again until all the water is gone and oil starts to ooze out. This could take 7-10 minutes in a medium flame.
- Now add the Coccum with the water and add the remaining water as well.
- Add salt to taste and let it boil.
- Add the fish pieces and swirl the pan itself so that the fish is immersed in the curry. Do not use a spoon to mix from this point, as it will break the fish pieces.
- When the curry starts to boil, turn off the stove and close the pan with a lid and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Garnish with remaining Curry leaves and serve.
As mentioned earlier, if made ahead the taste is enhanced. This goes well with Mashed Tapioca (Kappa) and Rice.