Kerala is famous for its fish curries. Each part of the state serves different types of fish curries, which are all remarkable in their own way. Some have coconut milk in them whereas some don't. Some are cooked in a tomato based gravy, some with the tanginess of kokum, tamarind or raw mango, whereas in some places it is cooked in the gravy of roasted and grinded coconut. Each place you go in Kerala , they will be having their own style of cooking the fish curry. Here I am sharing a fish curry recipe which is commonly found in the Thrissur district of Kerala. In Thrissur itself there are various ways of cooking fish curry, this is just one of them.
1/2 kg fish(pomfret)-cleaned and cut into thick slices
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 inch ginger, peeled
2 pieces of kokum/kudampuli(soaked in 3tbsp of warm water)
3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 Tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
2 Tbsp coconut oil
3 shallots, sliced thin
few curry leaves
- Crush the ginger and shallots together.
- In a thick bottomed vessel or preferably an earthern pot(manchatti), add the coconut milk, 1 1/2 cup water, turmeric powder, chilli powders, salt, soaked kokum pieces, crushed ginger and shallots, half of the curry leaves and salt. Mix everything well.
- Bring this mixture to a boil. Once it starts to boil, add the fish pieces.
- Cook on a medium flame until the fish is cooked. Once the fish is added do not stir the curry frequently, instead pick up the vessel and rotate it to mix everything well.
- Add the slit green chillies and remaining curry leaves.
- Cook until the gravy thickens to your preferred consistency.
- Remove from heat and keep aside.
- For the seasoning, in a small pan heat the coconut oil. Add the sliced shallots and curry leaves. Fry until the shallots turn golden brown in colour. Pour this seasoning on the prepared fish curry and cover the curry with a lid immediately, so that the aroma is trapped in the fish curry.
- Leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes. Mix well and serve.
*Any fish can be used. I have also tried this curry with anchovies and it has come out well.
* While cooking with small fish, a few pieces of drumstick can also be added. This imparts a unique taste to the fish curry.
* Kashmiri chilli powder has been used here so that the dish gets a rich colour without being too spicy either. It can however be omitted and the normal chilli powder can be used, but the quantity has to be reduced.
*For those who don't like the taste of kokum can substitute it with, raw mango pieces to impart the sourness to the dish.