Naadan Meen Curry
Here’s the recipe of traditional Kerala fish curry - spicy too !!! ( homestyle preparation, no added thickening agent / no extra branded fish masalas and less oil too). It goes well with Rice (especially the Kerala Brown rice), Appam, Idiyappam, Boiled and mashed Tapioca(Kappa)...
Note: You can use this recipe for any fish variety . Allow the curry to stand for at least 1- 2 hours before serving so that the gravy and fish absorbs all the flavors.
Serves: 2 -3
For the fish:
225 g fish pieces, medium size pieces (225 g net weight after cleaning)
Wash and clean fish pieces. Wash till you get a clear water and finally add rock salt (kalluppu) and wash again. Drain out water thoroughly and wipe each fish piece with a kitchen towel. In a wide bowl, marinate fish pieces evenly with1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chilli powder and ½ salt. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.
1 tablespoon oil
10 shallots / chuvannulli , finely sliced or 1 small size onion
6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 green chilli, slit lengthwise
1 - inch piece ginger, finely sliced
1 spring curry leaves or 6 nos (dark green)
1 well ripe tomato (big size), cubed (or 3 small size)
2 ½ level teaspoon red chilli powder (2 teaspoon for less spicy curry)
½ level teaspoon uluva podi (methi powder / fenugreek powder)
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
4 tablespoon water
Dilute red chilli powder, uluva podi, coriander powder and turmeric powder in 4 tablespoon water and keep aside.
2 kudampuli, medium size or 3 small size (soak in 50 ml / 1/4 cup water for one hour. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove kudapampuli, strain and reserve water for cooking. It may 2 tablespoon water and light brown in color).
1 cup / 200 ml water (Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Heat oil in a meen chatty (preferably earthen pot) or pan. Add finely sliced small onion / shallots / chuvannulli. Fry on a medium heat till golden color.
Add sliced garlic, ginger, slit green chilli and curry leaves and fry till crisp and golden color.
Add cubed tomato and gently stir on a medium heat until well combined.
Add diluted spice paste and stir on a low heat for 2 - 4 minutes or until the raw smell goes and water dries up / well combined with other ingredients.
Add kudampuli along with strained water (reserved 2 tablespoon water, in which kudampuli soaked), salt to taste and 1 cup water / 200 ml). Stir all the ingredients well. Cover with a lid and cook on a low to medium heat for 10 - 12 minutes or until it boils and thickens.
At this stage, add marinated fish pieces gently (Level of the water should be equal to fish pieces. It should not be ½ to 1 ½ inch above fish pieces. Fish curry won’t be tasty if the gravy is too thin). Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 8 – 10 minutes or until done / fish pieces well cooked / gravy slightly thickens (Cooking time depending upon the variety of fish. Normally fish cook very fast). Switch off the heat. Consume the curry after one hour. Then it will absorb all flavours. Serve with Rice / Boiled tapioca / Appam …