Kottayam Style Meen Mappas
Fish cooked in spicy coconut milk. Goes well as a main dish with Rice / Ghee rice / Appam / Idiyappam (string hoppers) … Basic recipe adapted from Suriyani Pachakam by Mrs Bava .R Lukose, Kottayam (Kerala)
Serves: 3 - 4
500 g fish piece , cut into cubes
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon redchilli powder
½ teaspoon salt
Wash and clean fish pieces. Drain out water completely. Wipe each fish piece with a soft kitchen towel. In a bowl, marinate fish pieces with red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for half an hour.
1 tablespoon oil (or 1 - 3 tablespoon)
3 tablespoon (1/4 cup) finely sliced shallots (chuvannulli / small onion)
10 garlic cloves, sliced
1 – inch piece ginger, finely sliced
6 curry leaves
3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1 teaspoon redchilli powder
3 teaspoon (or 1 tablespoon) coriander powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon pepper powder
50 ml (1/4 cup) water
225 ml thin coconut milk
4 kudampuli (soak in 3 tablespoon water. Add ¼ teaspoon salt in water)
Marinated fish pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
100 ml thick coconut milk
Dilute red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and pepper powder in ¼ cup (50 ml) water. Make a smooth solution and keep it ready (spice mix).
Heat oil in a meenchatty or pan on a medium heat. Add finely sliced shallots, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and slit green chillies. Fry until fragrant and golden color.
Add dilutedspice mix and stir well on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until raw smell goes / thickens / well combined with other ingredients (shallots, ginger, garlic …).
Add thin coconut milk and soaked kudampulis (along with soaked water. Strain water through a fine sieve) . Cover with a lid and bring to boil. When it starts boiling, add marinated fish pieces and salt to taste. Cover again and cook on a medium to low heat for 8 -10 minutes or until done / gravy thickens / fish pieces softens. Switch off the heat.
Add thickcoconut milk and gently stir well. Do not boil again. Serve with Rice / Pulao / Ghee rice / Appam / Idiyappam .
Photo of Meen Mappas - before adding thick coconut milk