Fish molee, the classic Kerala style fish stew is subtly spiced and flavorful. The perfect combination of spices and coconut milk makes it delicious.
I think fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Seriously, who wants to miss out on the omega 3s.
Ok, I’m not planning to do a complete course about the benefits of consuming fish. For now, we’ll talk about this mouth watering fish curry.
I used to think that curries that are yellow in color are made with loads and loads of ground turmeric. Years and years ago, when I first tried this fish molee, I added plenty of turmeric in an attempt to make it look yellow. The end result, as you imagined, was a total disaster. That’s yet another chapter of my kitchen adventure. But now I know better. I know that a little ground turmeric goes a long way.
If you are not familiar with this fish curry, it’s a traditional South Indian (Kerala) fish stew cooked in plenty of coconut milk and mild spices. It’s ideal for special occasions like Christmas and Easter, and pairs really well with appam, bread and even rice.
This fish molee gets most of its flavor from fish and coconut milk. It’s important that you choose fish that tastes great in a curry like pomfret or king fish. The lightly fried fish absorbs all the goodness of the coconut sauce making it mouth watering and extremely delicious. It tastes even better the next day, so make it ahead of time and give some time for the fish to really soak in the sauce.
There’s no denying that a perfect fish curry like this one puts a smile on the faces of your loved ones. So make it, share it and enjoy!
- First, make a marinade using turmeric, black pepper, lemon juice and enough salt. Rub it onto the fish pieces. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. Add fish pieces and shallow fry. Set aside.
- Now, to make the curry, heat oil in a claypot or large pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Fry onions until soft and translucent. Fry ginger and garlic. Fry green chilies and curry leaves. Add tomatoes and fry until it starts to break down.
- Add all the ground spices – turmeric, fenugreek, corinder and red chili powder. Fry. Add thin coconut milk. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add fish pieces and enough salt. Add thick coconut milk. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar just before removing it from fire. Garnish with more curry leaves.
- 500g fish, cut into small pieces
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2-3 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 8-10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 large green chili, slit
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground fenugreek
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 2 cups thin coconut milk
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 sprigs of curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- Combine together ground turmeric, ground black pepper and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with salt. Tip in the fish pieces and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces. Cook until both sides get a light brown color. Cook in batches if needed.
- Heat oil in a large pan (preferably a claypot) over medium-high heat. Splutter mustard seeds. Tip in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until softened.
- Add ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add green chili and a sprig of curry leaves. Saute for a minute. Add tomatoes, and fry for another 2-3 minutes or until they start to break down.
- Stir in ground turmeric, ground fenugreek, ground coriander and red chilli powder. Saute, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Season with salt.
- Stir in thin coconut milk. Carefully place the fried fish pieces in the curry. Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add thick coconut milk. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Scatter over the rest of the curry leaves. Pour in white vinegar and heat through.
- Garnish with curry leaves and serve with rice, appam, idiyappam, chapathi or bread.
-I used pomfret in this recipe