Malabar fish curry is typically a kerala style meen Kuzhambu… where the gravy is flavored with fresh coconut milk. This recipe of Sandhya @onesillymummy was in my mind ever since she posted on Instagram … Sandhya was kind enough to share the recipe with me and that’s it… all i had to do is make those fishes swim in it.
She has this beautiful blog going with tempting posts.. do check it out here- Polkadotchic I did adapt her recipe and did few additions here and there…, with the tempering. Also added few vazhaipoo/ banana flower to give it a personal touch… its absolutely optional. Original recipe goes with plain with fish fillets and light tempering with mustard and curry leaves.
Traditional kerala fish curry includes kokum – the malabar tamarind and also regular chilli powder with green chillies & ground coconut paste. This version includes green chillies for heat and takes the color from kashmir chilli powder. I’ve included regular tamarind and thick coconut milk for this recipe.
Some Fish Curry / Kuzhambu to try…
- Fish – 3 fillets cut into pieces( 6)
- Banana Flower – 6 florets (optional)
- Onion – 1 cup (chopped)
- Tomato – 1/4 cup (chopped)
- Green Chili – 6 (minced)
- Ginger Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
- Tamarind – 1 small marble size (soaked in water)
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Kashmir Red Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons
- Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 1 & 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste)
- Sugar – a pinch
- Thick Coconut Milk – 1 cup
- Curry leaves – 6 leaves
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Fennel seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
- Coconut Oil – 4 tablespoons
Lets see how to make this malabar fish curry..
Heat coconut oil in a kadai and temper with mustard, cumin & fennel seeds. Some curry leaves to sizzle…
Add in chopped onions, minced chilies, ginger and garlic paste. Fry them till the raw smell goes away.
This step is optional… just sneaking in some healthy goodies 😉 add in a few banana flower florets.
Fry them along with the some chopped tomatoes.
Now add in the turmeric powder, kashmir chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Saute well for few minutes.
Now add in the tamarind extract (about 2 tablespoons of thick extract)
Let that simmer for some time.
Now add some water(about 1/2 cup) to make a thick gravy.
When that is boiling add in the fish pieces and cook them for few minutes. Do not stir orelse that fish will break into gravy and mess. Just gently stir!
Now reduce the flame to low and add in the thick coconut milk. From here on, keep the flame at low and simmer.
The oil will separate after few minutes and gravy settles to the bottom. Switch off ! You Malabar fish curry is all ready to be served.
One of our lunch picks from Insta… Malabar Fish curry with Tilapia Fish fry, Snake gourd Poriyal & Appalam 😛
- Serves 4
- Coconut oil is a must for this recipe to get that Kerala touch.
- You may use tamarind or kokum as mentioned above.
- About 1 & 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut ground to a fine paste can be substituted in the place of thick coconut milk. Adding paste gives thickness to the curry. Coconut milk gives a light consistency curry and also gravy will look smooth with velvety finish.
- Tempering can be done first or last part of the recipe depending on your choice.
- Fresh fish steaks with bones tends to taste better than fillet… all i had was fillet at home, so used it!