Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meen Mappas - Fish cooked in a mild coconut milk gravy..!!

Meen Mappas

 

Yesterday evening I was just lying back n thinking ,what's keeping me away from this space..Its been almost a couple of weeks since I landed here,n these were the days ,when ,for even once I didn’t open my page or go to the reader.Today I saw it over flowing with more than 200 posts..:p..I am really sorry readers n foodies for this blatant absence..Actually I don't even have a solid excuse to state..I was thinking is it because that I lost that zest n interest for whipping out new palate-teasing stuffs,or is it that I have diverted my energy n attention more to other stuffs or is it mere sheer laziness..I dunno,mebe a jumble of everything above..These days,no colorful food pic or happening videos or even the spice smell from my pantry enthuses me as it used to long back.I guess its the daily routine in the kitchen that's stealing my energy n cheating me from the sublime pleasure I used to indulge in,when warmth n aroma’s would engulf me n our kitchen..n so food has really gone down the priority stack n I just cook up something or the other n many a times,there were worthy stuffs n I dint even want to think of clicking the pics..Gosh.:-O ..!..So thats why,I wanted to stay away from the whole thing n sorry,didn't drop in your places as well..I know you all must be making amazing stuffs,n I didn’t want to add to my reproach n oh-I-am-a-loser-lazy-ass feeling..:D..

 

Meen Mappas

Things haven't become any better now,but I really hope it’ll become..These days,I was thinking..God..surely all my foodie friends might have forgotten me n even If I try make a post none would drop by..:shudder:.that added to the drag..So today,I finally sat down n decided to give you all a pinch n say..heyloon..am around n alive on the face of earth,(dare you leave without hello-ing me back..;)..:D)...dusted an old post from draft n here I am with a boring-to-death rant/prelude to this simple fish curry..:D..I don't think I am going to jump-start this space to the previous speed any soon,as lots of friends are coming in these days,n then cooking for the blog is almost impossible,n my drafts also exhausted...So on my next post,whenever it is,I promise ,I wont kill you with ma guilty rants..:D

To brighten things up a bit,leme share some lighter notes..:).How have been life treating you all?Hope the long weekend was nice,I know..thats an old story..:D..We went to a casino/resort in Seattle on the long weekend and had some of the finest food ever there..There was an amazing 100+ items of buffet at Eagles in Tulalip.I had clicked pics n planned to share it in a detailed post about the food cornucopia there,but then it didnt quite happen..But just wanted to tell you about the quality of the 5 restaurants inside Tulalip..Superlatives are what I need here..Do try it sometimes,all of ya food lovers..:)..Other than that,I have been more into books n nature n shuttle these days..n my favorite past time is sitting in the patio..just gazing at the tall trees n clouds,with a book or a cupa coffee..until the evening chillness starts giving me goose bumps..It rained with thunder accompanied, this weekend n oh boy wasnt it so so gorgeous..:)….n on another happy note,I am all set to see The Harry Potter n Half blood Prince on its release date aka tomorrow..Kutts surprised me with two tickets yesterday n well,n me being the biggest Potter fan, was jumping up n down the whole evening..cant wait for tomorrow..:)

So,now about the recipe..Meen Mappas or more commonly known as Karimeen Mappas(as popularly made with Karimeen/pearl spot) is one of the major preparation ethnic sea food cuisine of Kerala.I am still unsure of the original preparation style or authenticity as I could see different masala’s/powders n methods used in different recipes.Mom used to prepare this once in a while,when we would get Karimeen or Pallathi(baby karimeen..:D) n I used to go ga ga over this.As our home is quite near Kuttanad,we were blessed.There,when you drive through the green lush-bordered roads,fish mongers would wave n stop you ,as they stand on the road sides with the freshest of fishes..Pearl spots,Pomfret’s,Prawns n Crabs..many of them still alive n as they say “Pidakkana meen..”(colloquially saying fresh n just caught) .So on all those blessed seasonal occasions,I would urge mom to make this n this is how she used to make it:

Meen Mappas

 

Make slits n marinate 1 lbs of fish pieces with 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder,2 tsp Pepper Powder n salt.Refrigerate for an hour or more.I have used Cat fish here.

Take a wide bottomed pan , n fry curry leaves in some oil.

To that pan ,add the fish pieces n shallow fry till light brown n firm on both sides.keep aside.

In the same pan,add more oil n add an inch of cinnamon stick n 2 cloves.fry till fragrant under low heat.

Add a tsp of mustard seeds,1 tsp Fenugreek seeds,4-5 broken dry red chillies n splutter.

Add lots of  curry leaves n fry till fragrant.

Now add a cup of lengthwise-thinly-sliced onions,1/4 cup sliced pearl onions,1 Tbsp garlic minced n 1 Tbsp julienned ginger.

Fry till light brown after sprinkling some salt.

Slit 6-7 big hot green chilies n add to pan ,along with a 1/2 a cup of chopped tomato  n sauté well till the tomatoes go soft.

Meanwhile,in another small pan heat up 1 Tbsp of whole pepper n 1/2 tsp fennel seeds.

Cool and grind it coarsely.

Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder,1 tsp chilli powder and the ground powder(amount according to the heat you need) and mix n sauté well.[ some add coriander powder for this preparation,I have skipped it]

Now add a cup of thin coconut milk n 3-4 cocum pieces and slowly bring to a boil.

Slide in the fish pieces,lower heat n close with a lid.

Once the fish is cooked,do a taste test,n add salt/pepper.Remove cocums if needed.

Top with 1/2 (upto 3/4 ) cup of thick coconut milk and rotate the pan to mix everything,under low heat n taking care not to break the fish.

Sprinkle 1/2 a tsp of garam masala on top.

Mash some curry leaves in oil n sprinkle it along with that oil  on top.

Swirl the pan and close.Let it sit for a few hours before use.

 

Meen Mappas

Verdict: Creamy,mild yet flavorful.Fresh pepper n lots of curry leaves with some generous amount of oil,preferably coconut oil makes this dish divine.I personally dislike canned coconut milk,n I feel it makes any dish taste like Thai .So needless to say,make your own coconut milk for this dish.For frozen coconut,use some hot water while grinding it to extract milk.It may be a bit messy,but totally worth it.The dish tastes the best day,when all the flavors mingle n get set..!:)

So that's it for today,thanks all of you for dropping by and do leave a hi for me..keep your smiles n hugs..!!

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47 Luv'ly people shared their views..:

Pavithra said...

Its looking yummy.. Even i dont eat it the gravy is really making me mouthwatering and the click gr8 asusual.

Pavithra said...

Hey We dont forget your lovely writeups so come on when you find time...

chakhlere said...

Hey varsha! nice click as usual.
And welcome back!

Sakshi said...

How in the world can I forgot you....unless of course you take a break from g talk and phone?? lolz...good to have you back and that too with a fish recipe. Something really fishy going on in ur life or what?? Take rest and am sure you will get back ur blog spring...

Loved the clicks and do tell me how the Hari Puttar movie is ok??

Divya Vikram said...

Great to see you back dear! Lovely recipe. And let me know how you liked HP.

Priyameena said...

Really a mouthwatering curry...wonderful presentation

Smitha said...

Nalla curry. Good that u made a post now. U and me arein the same boat. I'm also getting lazy.

My Experiments with Cooking said...

You must be kidding. How can we forget you Varsha. We were all waiting for you to come up with a post.
I am sure fish and coconut milk have a strong bond, the aroma reaches here. Get out of the block and spice it up :D

Valarmathi said...

How can we forget u Varsha!. welcome back dear. Nice click. Looks so tempting AND YUMMY.

Ann said...

Varsha da,aa pictureil undu your blues and greys..pakshe ezhuthil illa..ellarkkum undenne..you will come back with perfect spirit I BET!!

Poornima Nair said...

Don't we all have our dull phases, but you need not worry, nobody is going to forget you:)...
that meen curry delicious, reminded me of my grandmom who always made the best curry.
Btw, I'm so J!...ur going for the movie, I'm probably gonna watch it this weekend.

sangeeta said...

hey....don't worry if you don't wanna come to this space for a while....after all there should be a feel good factor involved in whatever you do...for me a new post means some freshness in the boring routine of just cooking n housekeeping........hope you get back your 'feelgood' dose again here...take care till then.

Suparna said...

hey varsha,
U WONT BELIEVE IT!!! I was thinking abt u last afternoon :) I was just thinking that it has been a long time since varsha has posted anything ...wonder wassup??? and aha! I see ur post today, am glad u got the telepathic msg :)..lol
it's really nice to read ur write ups girlie, keep them coming :)
I love meen mappas ( I used to call it meen mapas ;)until I got the name properly) Thanks for the recipe ...u must've known by now I treasure Kerala recipes :)
Thanks dear.
Enjoy!!

Preety said...

hey i almost thought you are gone on a break..after coming back after my break i don't see all old friends around..almost 80% of them are gone on break..so its nice to see some old ones around..keep posting..love to visit your blog and always find a good read , amazing recipe and excellent pictures..

Gravy looks so good too:)

Sanghi said...

Ooo this is looking delicious in rich coconut milk. As usual tempting pictures..! :)

Gita said...

Nice to see you back Varsha....dont worry about that...it happens to everybody...we sometimes lose interest doing things we love to do :) Nice curry dear...love the seasonnings on top :)

Manasi said...

What the hell yaar! Ofcourse we will miss you, who else will keep us busy by updating every alternate day? :) I know how you feel, I feel burnt out too, after a dose of everyday cooking for a long time. Try changing up your cooking schedule, put your laptop in the kitchen and watch movies while you cook, or just take a break for some time. The curry, btw, looks too delicious.

Reeni♥ said...

It sounds like you are really enjoying your summer! Maybe when the weather turns and cold comes again you will find inspiration and feel like posting more - the winter can be so boring! I love hearing from you - a ray of sunshine in my day. This looks delicious, as always! Have fun seeing Harry Potter - I can't wait.

Nithya Praveen said...

Jes dropped in to say "hello":-P

Shama Nagarajan said...

Welcome back dear....enjoy summer.....truly authentic fish curry....one more tempting recipe from u........lovely clicks

Vani said...

What a fab looking curry that is, VV! Loved the pix.

Pooja said...

Welcome back! Aww the meen mappas look awesome! Wish I could have some now! Loved the creamy rich look of the gravy :)

Rush said...

looks v enticing..wheres the fish? wheres the fish?

mangala said...

I loved ur curry bowl its soo beautiful ..Hey Awsome looking curry !

Yasmeen said...

Delicious coconut curry dear,as you can see I'm all nuts about coconut these days.:D

Viki's Kitchen said...

Meen mappas looks delicious . I guess only one reason for getting fed up with blogging. Its just an amazing summer and we wanna do something more active. Am I right dear:)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

lovely fish curry... one of my friend's wife had made it and it was so yum... i can taste it again while reading yours...lovely...

Varunavi said...

Delicious looking fish curry,i love the flavour of coconut milk in this curry :)

Elra said...

I am loving this!!!!!!!!

Chitra said...

looks gr8 varsha!!

Maria said...

I love the color of that meen mappas, gorgeous!! enjoy the movie and have fun :) take care dear...

Roopa said...

ooh the gravy is looking as if it will just flow out of my compuyter :) love the click :)

Soma said...

I have never cooked fish with coconut milk, but my friends from Kerala would make it & i would lick it clean. It's time i get some fish, that gravy looks fingerlicking good.

veggie belly said...

welcome back! i love how you've presented this dish :)

Sharmila said...

I love coconut milk ... and I love fish! This dish sounds and looks delicious Varsha! :-)
Am trying this the next time I get fish.

Nags said...

i had forgotten how colourful this dish actually is. looks very pretty :)

Priti said...

Looks very nice n yum...nice clicks dear

Ria said...

Take your time Varsha and no one is going to forget u :) Btw the mappas looks yumm :)

Varsha Vipins said...

Thanks everyone..for telling me that you wont forget me..:)..I'll be back soon with a post.Tc all..:).

Urs....Jina said...

that looks awesome..what fish did u use??

CHAITRA said...

Mouth watering click!!!First time here and love this wonderful blog of yours.
Drop in sometime

Hema said...

such a colorful dish.. looks really delish... BTW.. love your bowl.. its awesome!!

Vijitha Shyam said...

Da varsha! yummy meen mappas. Do u have the recipe for ullitheeyal?

n33ma said...

yum wow and wonderful

Parita said...

Enjoy your break and do come back soon! no way we all can forget u :)
Lovely presentation, loved that bowl!

Anonymous said...

I tried this out..came out amazing Varsha..thanks for sharing..:)

-Maya-

Haddock said...

Bought Karimeen just yesterday but the taste is not as what we get in Kerala.
Must try out this Mappas.

 
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