Fish molee is simple, mild in spice, delicate and addictive. It is one of the most loved dishes in Kerala cuisine, some say it is the influence of the Portuguese on the cuisine of Kerala – Gods own country. Molee literary means ‘stew’ Fish molee most often is the centerpiece for most festive occasions and is usually served as the first course. It’s the ‘coconut milk ‘that is the hero of the dish here.
When we were growing up, and if it was fish molee and bread for dinner, I remember dipping and soaking the bread in the curry and relishing the flavor and delicate taste. This is a dish where we kept refilling our plates with curry rather than the protein itself, it is addictive, I must confess. After all these years, fish molee still is a favourite at home and my daughter Rhea in particular loves the dish. She is reaching home tomorrow after 4 months and I asked her what she’d like to have for dinner? Prompt came the reply – fish molee mom! So there you have it!
If you are particularly fond of fish and you’re craving for a curry you could rustle up easily – well, here’s the dish for you. Your craving is soon to be satisfied. Go ahead and soak up the curry!!
- Fish-1/2 kg
- Grated coconut-2 cups
- Onion-1 sliced
- Ginger- garlic crushed-1 tbsp each
- Green chillies 4-5 slit
- Cashewnuts-5-6 halved
- Turmeric powder-1 tsp
- White Pepper powder-1tsp
- Chili flakes-1tsp
- Tomatoes – 2-3 cut into round slices
- Vinegar-1 tsp
- Salt, curry leaves, coconut oil
- Two extractions of coconut milk have to be made.
- For the first extraction (1 cup) – add 1/2 cup of warm water to freshly grated coconut and blend in mixie for a minute or so. Strain. Refill the mixie with the grated coconut.
- For the second extraction (11/2 cups) – add 1 cup of warm water to the grated coconut and blend for a minute or so. Strain and use.
- Marinate the fish in a mix of turmeric powder (1/2 tsp), pepper powder, chili flakes and salt for 15 minutes. Shallow fry and keep aside.
- To hot oil, add sliced onion and fry till soft.
- Add ginger- garlic crushed and slit green chillies and sauté.
- Add cashewnuts and fry well.
- Add the second extraction of coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add fried fish, vinegar and salt and simmer till fish is cooked.
- Add the first extraction of coconut milk to which a tsp of flour has been added. Bring to a boil and remove. Add sliced tomato, curry leaves and a tsp of coconut oil (optional). Cover with a tight fitting lid for 10 minutes.
- Taste for balance in flavor.
- Serve with bread or appams.
- Any fleshy fish will do, but King fish, pomfret or pearl spot is the preferred fish. Somehow, I prefer boneless.
- Fresh fish is preferred to frozen.
- It is always better to use freshly grated coconut rather than coconut powder. It tastes better and is more authentic in flavor.
- If chilly flakes is not available you could add the skin of a dry red chilly.
- If you’d like it spicier, increase the number of slit green chillies and pepper powder.
- For appams, you could go back to my earlier post on Appam and egg stew -the taste of Kerala.
- Serves 4 .
Till my next post