Pearl Spot / Karimeen is a freshwater fish found in Southern India, especially in back waters of Kerala and western flowing rivers in Karnataka. It's a species of Cichild family and Etroplus genus.The fish, known locally as Karimeen, is considered a delicacy.
Karimeen fry is very popular in Kerala and it’s easily available in back waters of central Kerala especially in Kumarakom, Alleppey and Thannermukkom. Karimeen commands prime positions on table in Star Hotels and Houseboats. They cost a fortune depending on the size. The bigger - the more expensive.
In Chennai one can buy it from Spencer’s daily ( very seasonal), Fish O Fish and neighbourhood fish stalls. Price ranges from Rs 200 / 250 per kg.
Keralites prefer to consume Karimeen as a single piece ( it is rarely cut / slice before cooking). The popular dishes are Karimeen Fry, Karimeen Mappas ( also known as Moiley - which is a curry dish with coconut milk as base) , Karimeen Pollichathu ( smoked karimeen wrapped in banana leaves). Featured here is the quintessential Karimeen Fry.
Fresh Karimeen – 2 / 800 gm
1, Lemon juice- 2 teaspoon
2, Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon
3, Red chilly powder- 2 teaspoon
4, Pepper powder- ½ teaspoon
5, Salt – to taste
6, Ginger – garlic paste – 2 teaspoon
Cooking oil for frying
Wash and clean Karimeen , rub it clean again with salt crystals. Wash it thoroughly.
Mix ingredients from 1-6 with little water. Marinate this paste over the fish / in the slits and keep aside for 1 hour.
Heat cooking oil in a frying pan. Fry 1 Karimeen at a time on medium flame. Fry till golden brown. Turn the Fish over and fry other side also. Decorate with onion / tomato slices. Serve hot with rice and fish curry.