Friday, 8 January 2010

Meen Paalu Curry/Fish Curry

Meen paalu curry is a preparation with vinegar and coconut milk. A change from the usual fish curry with gambooge/kokum(kudam puli).

You will need...

1. Fish - 750gms cleaned and cut into   pieces(i used black pomfret)
   Green chiliies - 6-7 slitted lengthwise
   Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
   Vinegar* - 2-3 tbsp
   Salt - to taste
   Water - 1/4 cup

Put all the ingredients together in a pan, cover and cook in medium heat and keep aside.

2. Big onion - 1 sliced
    Tomattoes - 1 sliced into rounds
    Garlic clove - 1 sliced
    Ginger crushed - 1 inch piece
    Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
    Chilly powder - 1-1 1/2 tsp
    Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
    Coconut milk* - 1 cup(thick consistency)
                               and 2 cups(thin consistency)
    Shallots(Cheriya ulli) - 5-6 sliced
    Curry leaves - 2 stems
    Oil - 2-3 tbsp

See coconut milk recipe here.  Mix coriander powder, chilly powder and turmeric powder in 2-3 tbsp water to a paste and keep it aside. In a thick bottomed pot or terracotta cooking dish(currychatti) saute shallots to golden brown and add curry leaves. Keep it aside. In the same pan saute onions, ginger and garlic(do not allow it to brown),  add tomattoes and saute for one minute. Reduce heat and add the masala paste and saute until oil leaves to the sides of the pan. Add the thin coconut milk( edappal) and let it boil in medium heat. Add fish pieces into it taking special care so as not to break the pieces. If there is any water left out in the pan add that too along with the chillies. When it boils reduce heat and add thick coconut milk(thalappal). Just heat it, do not allow to boil. Garnish with fried shallots and curry leaves. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Vinegar - Distilled malt vinegar is used in this preparation. Can use coconut vinegar if it is available.
Coconut Milk - Fresh coconut milk is used here, suitable substitutes can be used like instant coconut milk powder or tinned coconut milk. Dilute it to thick and thin milks.

After adding the  thick coconut milk do not let it boil. The milk solids will get seperated and spoil the curry, specially the look of it. Taste should be alright.
Fish preparations are usually made using currychatti(terracotta dish) which is supposed to make the preparation tastier.
To get an authentic kerala taste you can prepare it in coconut oil.

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