Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meen Curry (the unconventional one)

This post goes out to one of my dedicated readers and someone who besides her busy schedule does a fair bit of cooking and runs a cooking blog at Newton's kitchen.

This recipe is different from the conventional fish curry served with "kappa" (Tapioca) in Kerala in that that coconut is used. The preperation is simple.

I am not good at writing recepies and so I assume you keep an estimated quantity of the ingredients.

Ingredients -

1. Fish (preferably Ayla - don't know its English name)) but avoid the more bony ones.

A note about preparing fish. Remove scales, fins including the tail fin. Inspite of the popular belief that the head of the fish is the most tastiest (probably it was falsely propogated so that people don't dispose of the head) many do away with the head. An alternative method is to remove the eyes and some other head elements not suited for cooking and retain the head portion. Best to ask elders as they are adept at preparing fish. Finally wash the fish well and mix Turmeric powder (a small quantity). Turmeric helps in destroying any poisonous elements in food.

2. Spices - Ginger, Chilly powder, Corriander powder.

3. Shredded coconut

4. Salt to taste.

And before I forget, try and get this one, the traditional "MeenChatti". We managed to get one from Chalakudy on our recent trip to Kerala.

The Process:

Boil water in the chatti. To the boiling water add the prepared fish. To it add Turmeric Powder (you may minimise if you have already added enough while preparing the fish explained earlier), Chilly powder, Corriander powder and salt. After 5 minutes when the mix is boiling add the tamarind juice. Set the cooking heat to low.

Meanwhile prepare a paste from shredded coconut(half a coconut) and ginger (a small piece).

To the cooking fish when it is cooked (10 minutes, fish cook very fast), add the coconut paste. Then let boil for another 2-3 minutes. In another vessel (Kadai) add about 3 teapoons of coconut oil and fry minced small onions till they turn golden brown. Now add some Curry leaves and add this mix to the boiling curry in the meen chatti. Stir and let cool.

Fish curry gets better with time and so what you cook today will taste better tomorrow and even more better after two days. Due to the tamarind added the curry can also last longer when refrigerated. Fish curry is also good for the heart unlike fried fish that contributes to bad cholestrol. But you could also cook fish in another unique Kerala method that is perfect for the heart. That in another post.


Minu said...

Thank you so much..Let me try this...I don't have a meen chatty yet...probably I can pick an earthen actually makes a lot of difference...

By the way Ayala's English name is Mackerel...

And hey thanks for that free publicity for my newton's kitchen ;)

I will soon come back with my feedback on the recipe...

Subash S L said...

Mackereal, Ah Yes, I remember now.