Monday, August 10, 2009

Spicy Kerala Fish curry – Kuttanadan Meen curry…!!




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Monday Blues ?? bit..k..lil of it..:P..But when I look outside of this wall length window..beyond the patio..I can see a long wide spread of greens n silent tall trees,slightly chilling in the breeze,one sight which keeps me calm,sane n connected in any blues...yea..its no more hot strong waves of heat n no burnt grass..Its all cool  n gloomy once again..with occasional bursts of juicy sunlight bouncing upon..just the way I love it..!!:)

Btw,Thanks a ton to each n one of you for the wishes you passed me on last post..I am so happy..:)

So,the climate is back when we can have some spicy food,soups,hot steaming coffee’s n such..n cooking leaves the kitchen n home just enough warm to feel cozy all through..:)..I guess in those earlier “fishy” posts I’ve always lamented about how  I don't ever get those Kerala nadan type fishes here ,n with those fillets I am never able to recreate the homely taste n all that.Period..! I’ve found the road to got the solution..Thanks to some friends who told me about Rainbow trout,which now happens to be our staple sea food..Fishes in Kerala,especially in Alleppey-Kuttanad is so different,juicy n tasty.Most of them are caught fresh from lakes ..not sea..n they taste lot more different from the other variety..We being the natives of alleppey are used to those fishes all throughout the year..In my home,fish would be there for meals everyday,except on weekends,when it would meat.(Now you know how hard core non veg I am..:D).Those fishes,that fishmongers catch fresh from lakes n either bring home or sell in markets..ha..good ole’ days..So being used to so much of fish,it was rather tough when I started living away from home in Pune..But in US,all I could find was salmon or tilapia fillets..Of course Halibut also..i tried a variety of fillets n was never satisfied..But Rainbow trout beat me..Its almost similar to the fish we get back home..and the curry n fry tasted divine..!! A big heap of rice n a ladle full of this fish curry(oru kalam chorum meen curry-um) will sent your taste buds to heaven..:)


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I dont wana sound gross,still for the fish lovers I say the head of the fish was too good..Have u heard the mallu saying…”Ayila thala aliyanum kodukkilla..”(wont trade the head of mackeral(is it same?) even with bro-in-law).I know it sounds hilarious when translated,but in malayalam it rhymes n sounds perfect..:P..In short it means its darn tasty,n now I guess I will swap the word Mackeral with Rainbow trout..:D

I’ve posted a fish curry in one of those first few posts I’ve made here..The method is almost similar,but there are few changes here n there ,that I’ve  learned in course of time ..One of the first dishes I made,hence I guess this will fit for Shama’s First cooked dish event..:)



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Cut n clean 1 lb fish(Trout..trout..trout..!!) into chunky pieces,slit it n keep aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp coconut oil in a wide bottomed pan n splutter 1 tsp Mustard seeds,1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds,4-5 broken Red chillies n lots of curry leaves n fry well.

Pop in 1 Tbsp Minced garlic n 1 Tbsp julienned ginger and fry in low heat till its no more raw.

Now throw in 1 cup of thinly sliced onions n 1 cup sliced pearl onions.(can also add a cup of tomatoes here)

Sprinkle salt n fry till its golden.

Now make a paste of 2 tsp Chilli powder,2 tsp Coriander powder,1/2 tsp Turmeric powder,3/4 tsp Pepper powder,n 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder.(I also add some Nirapara/eastern fish masala..a tsp or 2 ..adds to taste.but purely optional.If you not adding it add more of fenugreek powder n Asaofetida..Also making a fresh powder from chilli’s n coriander n fenugreek seeds gives more taste..or a simple trick is to just heat these powders under low heat,before making paste to bring out that aroma n flavor)

To the onions n tomatoes in pan ,add this paste ,lil water n saute till the raw smell of masala goes.

Now add 1-2 cups of water n 4-5 pieces of fresh gamboge/cocuum/kudampuli n bring it to a boil.

Do salt test,Add 1/4 tsp of Asaofetida(kayam) n reduce heat.

Slide in fish pieces ,close n let it cook.

Open lid n carefully flip fish pieces every now n then ,to cook evenly.

When the fish is completely cooked,open n swirl the pan to let the flavors distribute evenly.

Mash some fresh curry leaves in coconut oil n sprinkle it on top,also sprinkle a pinch of fenugreek powder over the curry.Close n let it rest for a few hours for the flavors to mingle.If you feel its too sour,pick out the gamboges from the curry.

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Aww..Did u see that vallom(boat) of fish curry rowing its way to glory through that hot white rice lake??? :D:D..slurpppp right..If you are Meen curry fan like us,then you should definitely check out the Varutharacha meen curry I’ve posted before..I made it again yesterday n so have updated the old post with tips n new pics..:)

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Thanks to Chakhlere,Priti,Sushma n all the others who passed me the awards in the side bar n also for the tag..Too many questions n most of which have nothing to do with my readers still fun n for the love of them who tagged me,I’l just bring it right out of ma mind..k..:P

What is your current obsession?

Shopping?? I go wild when I shop..:D

What are you wearing today?

 T-shirt n frayed shorts..

What’s for dinner?

I don't usually think about it until I start feeling hungry..:P..mmm..Today it may be a Pasta dish..

what’s the last thing you bought?

Peaches..n Ice creams..

What are you listening to right now?

Right now,Cooker whistle..:P ..dal is in there you know..:D

What are you going to do after this?

Finish cooking ma lunch ..

What do you think about the person who tagged you?

All of them are warm n friendly people n  nice cooks as I can see..:)

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?

On a lakeside of Kumarakom in Kerala..:)

What are your must-have pieces for summer?

Sunscreen,Sun glasses,Cold water n lip balm..n ofcouse some light cotton clothes..:)

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? many places..I'd like to go on a world tour..:D

Which language do you want to learn?
hmm..No learning..I am fed up of studying..4 languages that I know, is enough for me to irritate n make people go nuts..:D

Who do you want to meet right now?*
My mom..I want her to make  for me her fish curry n fry..also my husband who is in office right now..:P

What is your favorite colour?

depends on my mood..It was pink once upon a blue n black..

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet?
Love  my Sari's..n frocks..

What is your dream job?
No limits for dreams right..I'd love to do  an Indian cooking show like Giada(shoo shoo S n S) or  Rachel Ray..please don LOL friends..Basically I love to do media related jobs..behind-the-cam stuffs..also love to start/be in managerial position of a business firm..:P..But (un)fortunately I am engineer..:D

What’s your favourite magazine?
Vanitha,Readers Digest,GHK

If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?

I cant name it now,but just leave me alone in a shop for an hour,I can show you..:D..

What do you consider a fashion faux pas?

Skin tight jeans for guys n extremely low-waist jeans (that shows out you-know-what..:P) for girls n also mismatching combination of traditional n modern styles..:P

Who are your style icons?
No Icons..I just follow my sense n comfort..

Describe your personal style.?
Dress for the occasion..Make-up..keep it low,yet elegant..;)

"What do you try to cook when you have cooking blues (When you feel real lazy to cook some thing)"?
Rice,Moru curry(Yogurt just tempered with mustard n curry leaves), n egg omlette..

What are your favourite movies?
So many..Roja,Titanic,Forrest Gump,Pursuit of happyness n Harry potter series etc etc..:)

What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can't live without?
Well..definitely I can live without them..:p..still,I keep a lip balm,face wash,body mist n moisturizer in bag during travels..

What inspires you?

Depends..sometimes a nice music or ..a nice book..or sometimes just a smile from an unknown baby inspires me..:)

Give us three styling tips that always work for you:
oh so bad in this..

I usually get bad hair days often..Just tie it up in a tight pony..It may look crazy even then with my layered cut..but am happy as far as it is out of my face n sight when I look at mirror..:p

Dress for the ocassion..:)

Highlight your brows n eyes..:)

What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?

pick up an old jeans n plain black top

coffee or tea?

Coffee coffee coffee..oh..Bru coffee..!

What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?

Spill my emotions to my husband n take away his mental piece..:D

What is the meaning of your name?


Which other blogs you love visiting?

So many..!

Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Tiramisu,Strawberry short cake

Favorite Season ?

Winter(Snow..!!) n spring too..

Who inspired you to start blog?

My husband..:)

What inspired you to keep this blog name?
My blog was a general musing blog when I started it n at that time I was reading a book,n I noticed this word Will-O'-the-wisp ,which is a folklore  phenomenon,that’s seen on bogs n marshes..that's said to recede when approached.Its kind of a ghostly light which has so many folklore stories revolving around it..I felt it cute n put it as my blog name..:)

Since most of you have received the tag,am not passing it on to anyone in particular..Pls feel free to take it if you have not did it before ,friends..:)

Phew…That was longggg….If you still hanging on..a big hug n wishes for a great week ahead…




45 Luv'ly people shared their views..:

Pooja said...

Oohhh what a treat Varsha! Chorum meen curry...adipoli! I too make in a similar way and yeah, fish masala adds up the flavour! I need to try your varutharacha meen curry soon :)

Varunavi said...

Wow that looks wonderful,what i like most in kerala cusine is the fish curry,the taste is heavan yaar.

Viki's Kitchen said...

First cooked fish dish seems wonderful. U are a great cook ya. Enjoyed that song and nice to read ur answers:) Meen curry picture looks excellent.

Soma said...

I love the Black top/black dress magic!

Love all the movies you wrote except harry potter, call me weird but i cannot enjoy.

Now you are the one driving me nuts & crazy cravings with your Meen Curry. I crave crave crave indian cooked fish but rarely eat & cook, since i am the only in in the family.

Aysha said...

wow....such an amazing dish yaar...loved the pic

Anonymous said...

the fish curry looks wonderful!

Urs....Jina said...

Hey..just wanted to know trout tates like which fish in kuttanad??

And I have tagged u in my new post..Its not food related..So do it only if you want to..

chakhlere said...

Hey Varsha!! It was nice reading about you. The fish curry looks so amazing. My darling is drooling to see that. I haven't yet cooked fish. Now seeing this he is telling me to make it :)

Coincidentally I just posted about the award and have nominated you. So as ritual i invite you to my blog to please accept the award and the tag as a token of appreciation from a fan and fellow passionate foodie.

You have a great blog!!!

Divya Vikram said...

Great to read the tag Varsha. And the fish curry looks lipsmacking delish!!

Bergamot said...

Wow this looks really spicy and lip smacking.I like your presentaton especially the boat shaped (oval) dish. Reminds me of the Kerala and the boats so typical of it :-)

Sakshi said...

Why did you throw away the red chilli oar from the boat? How will the fish get ashore now?? Awesome dish and I really wish you were nearby...could have dropped frequently to eat up all these fish curries!

Oh ho kochu kalli so you want to become the next Giada?? Well just remember you will have to shop for one size smaller dresses than your original size :)

Mangala Bhat said...

Hey Varshu ...Love u da! Nice to know about u ! U r my sweetheart!..Pics look awesome :)

Smitha said...

Adipoli Mole! Thakarthu. Wonderful curry and think that Kokum is what takes one back home to Kerala :)

Sathya Sankar said...

Wonderful dish varsha, loved the fish boat:D.
Great to know more about you :)

Priya said...

nice n colorful dish

Superchef said...

thanks for letting me know about this mom-in-law is visiting us. I'll get her to make something "naadan" with this fish ! :)

Anonymous said...

wow! I love that! Looks like a plate of exploding flavors! And I agree, I LOVE the fish head the most!

My Experiments with Cooking said...

Tag very nicely done Varsha..what are the four languages you know?
The curry looks scrumptious. It looked like Andhra Fish curry to me but I noticed that kadampuli and all are added. So it is quite different!

Sushma Mallya said...

Very nice presented varsha....just loved the picture...must be really tasty and congraz on ur award, u truely deserve it for having such a wonderful blog....and was really nice knowing u better

Sanghi said...

I simply love your fish recipies varsha! All yummmy! Lovely clicks too! Try participating in my FIL-Milk event dear!:)

Shama Nagarajan said...

nice read about you dear.....inviting fish recipe.......lovely picture

Valarmathi said...

Fish curry looks so yummy dear. Lovely presentation. looks tempting.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Cool pics and recipe Varsha! I luved the tag and ur answer to what inspired the most :)

Aparna Prabhu said...

Curry luks awesome must try on my he is the only one to eat fish here...... nd gr8 to kno more bout u.......

sangeeta said...

fish in a boat looks so yum....i have to try your khatta fish preparations's mouthwatering..
was good to know so many more things about you.....keep up..

Subhie Arun said...

cool recipe n pic too..i love fish too..will try ur version soon...ur prasentation is grt yar as usual....nice to knoes more abt u..keep rocking..cheers

Make the Impossible...Possible said...

I liked the boat filled with meen travesing the chor..Nice creativity...Grt8 pictures
Velzham ozhikkunnu....emmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhh

Anonymous said...

Lol on"Ayilathala aliyanum kodukkilla".sorry am bartering thala to you..I always skip that..haha..
Lovely read Varsha..and meme,lol again esp on the languages ..4 languages and one girl..Oh,forgot to add,the helpeless preys..haha..

When i come to seattle,dont forget to prepared this one..illenkil no chocos for you varsh..


Anonymous said...

Da,please check with your labels..clicking on any will open only one recipe like if we open chicken,the latest in chicken will be opened..jus check..we need that full no ? to findout something we search ?

Priti said...

Curry looks yum..nice pic and nice reading your meme :)

Priya said...

Mouthwatering dish Varsha, glad to know more about u dear!

Shabs.. said...

hey sweety,
enjoyed reading ur tag...and loved ur curry....the look of it....enikkaa paathram ishtappettu...ente aduthaa thaamasam enkil njan athu pandey adichu maattiyeney....just kidding...i love crockeries...

Varsha Vipins said...

Thanks thanks everyone..
Sakshi..The fish will find its way to ma tummy via hand oar u knw..Thats y I left it
Jina,I am not sure which one..Its fleshy with lil fat n juicy..puzhameen pole..
hb, English,Malayalam,Hindi n Tamil..:D
Ann chechi..To avoid hanging while loading all the images I have made the settings for one post perr page..pls follow the older posts link to navigate..:)
hugs all..:)

Poornima Nair said...

Just pass that plate to me, i'd like to have that right now. Looks so yumm.
Great to read ur answers.

Maneesh said...

Hi Varsha, you have nice recipes in your blog. Check out It is India's first women's social network. You can join and share your blogs, photos and videos about your recipes.

kittymatti said...

what a lovely preserntation! great job!

Srivalli said...

That sure looks very tempting Varsha...and yes you can go on and on right..not that I complain ok..:)

Parita said...

Thats gorgeous presentation varsha! absolutely mouth watering!

Purva Desai said...

This looks like one spicy, red hot curry.......
Nice was a nice read and got to know more about you

Reeni♥ said...

What a delicious fish dish and great pics! I loved getting to know you better, thanks for sharing so many tidbits about yourself. *HUGS*

Nisha said...

You have a very nice food blog, Varsha.
Fish curry looks delicious.
Definitely I am going to try the bread recipe.

Donna-FFW said...

What an absolutely gorgeous gorgeous dish! Looks so delicious!

Anonymous said...

Hi varsha,
I tried this out n came out so nice.It was so your blog.You are an inspiration.Keep going..


Sanjeev Kapoor said...

Ya I am a great lover of Kerala Fish Curry. It is one of the speciality of kerala. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe with us.

RV said...

I made this fish curry for lunch and we just ate. TH & I enjoyed it so much. Thanks for this lipsmacking recipe sweets.

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