Fish Masala Curry

Unlike Meat, I never get tired of Fish. I can have it every day. I keep trying new recipes with Fish and a few days back, I was reminded of the Fish Masala which was served for our Wedding Reception. I didn’t have the exact recipe but decided to explore it myself with probable ingredients. It turned out to be a yummy Fish Curry. Unlike Kerala Style Fish Curries, the most notable Indian spice mixture which stands out in this Fish Curry is Garam Masala.

Indian Fish Masala Curry

Indian Fish Masala Curry

This fish curry is more similar to Meat based Curries and is very flavorful and aromatic. The gravy is rich and tasty as Coconut Milk is used. It goes well with Indian Breads. We even had it with Oats Puttu for Breakfast.

Fish Curry with Indian Spices

Fish Curry with Indian Spices

Ingredients

  1. Fish – 1.5 lbs
  2. Sliced Onions – 1
  3. Diced Tomatoes – 2 medium
  4. Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
  5. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  6. Coriander Powder – 1.5 tbsp
  7. Kashmiri Chilly/Paprika Powder – 1 tsp
  8. Fenugreek (Uluva) Powder – 1/4 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp
  10. Fennel Seeds (Perum Jeerakam) Powder – 1/2 tsp
  11. Tamarind Paste – 1 tbsp
  12. Thin Coconut Milk – 2 cups
  13. Sugar – 1 tsp
  14. Cilantro (Malliyella) – a few for garnishing
  15. Oil – 2 tbsp
  16. Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  17. Salt – to taste
  18. Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp

For Marinating the Fish

  1. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  2. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  3. Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Kashmiri Chilly/Paprika Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Black Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  6. Salt – to taste

Preparation Method

  1. Clean the fish and dice it into medium sized pieces. Soak it in water along with 2 tbsp lemon juice for five minutes. Wash it a couple of times and keep aside.
  2. Marinate the fish with the above ingredients and refrigerate it for at least half an hour.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Saute onions and and a sprig of curry leaves until the onions become translucent.
  4. Add the tomatoes and let it cook until soft and mushy. Reduce heat and add ginger garlic paste. Saute for two minutes.
  5. Add coriander, kashmiri chilly and fenugreek powders. Saute everything until the oil begins to separate from the mixture.
  6. Next, pour in the thin coconut milk to the pan. Add the tamarind paste, 1 tsp sugar and salt to taste. Mix everything so that the tamarind dissolves.
  7. Sprinkle garam masala and fennel seeds powder. Allow the gravy to come to a slow boil on medium heat.
  8. Gently add the fish pieces and give the pan a swirl. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally.
  9. Finally, open the pan and sprinkle 1/4 tsp garam masala powder. Remove from heat after two minutes. Garnish with another sprig of curry leaves and a few cilantro leaves. Keep covered.

Note

  • I have used Cod Fillets for this curry. It is best to use any mild tasting White Fish for this recipe.
  • Fresh Ginger Garlic Paste is always recommended.
  • If using Canned Coconut Milk, dilute it with water to get the required consistency.
  • If you don’t have tamarind paste, you can use tamarind extract. Soak 1 tbsp of tamarind pulp in 1/2 cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes or microwave it for a minute. Mash the pulp well and then strain the tamarind water.
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Raw Plantain Stir Fry (Vazhakka Mezhukupuratti)

Raw Banana is known as Kaya in Malayalam. Unripe Bananas are used for making different side dishes in Kerala. Raw Plantains (Vazhakka) are mostly used for making Thoran, Mezhkkupuratti, Erisheri and so on. A friend told me that they cook Raw Plantains with Tapioca/Yuca and it tastes excellent. Vazhakka is also cooked with different kinds of Payaru (Beans) such as Achinga Payaru, Cherupayaru, Vanpayaru etc.

Vazhakka Mezhukkupuratti

Vazhakka Mezhukkupuratti

I had some Unripe Plantain (Pacha Ethakka/Nendhrakka) and made a simple stir fry with it. If you don’t have Raw Plantains, you can use Raw Bananas (Pacha Kaya) for the same recipe. I removed the outer skin of the raw plantains. However, some people like to cook it with skin. Here is the recipe for Vazhakka or Pacha Kaya Mezhkupuratti.

Raw Plantain Stir Fry

Raw Plantain Stir Fry

Serves: 5 to 6

Ingredients

  1. Raw Plantain – 2 big
  2. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  3. Diced Shallots (Kunjulli) – 5 or6 (Alternatively use diced Onions)
  4. Minced/Crushed Garlic – 4 cloves
  5. Red Chilly Flakes – 1 tsp
  6. Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Black Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Curry Leaves – a sprig
  9. Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
  10. Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  11. Salt – to taste

Preparation Method

  1. Trim the edges of the plantain and lightly peel the thick outer skin. Dice it into small cubes. Soak it in water for five minutes and then wash it in several changes of water. This will remove the stickiness (kara).
  2. Boil the plantain pieces in plenty of water along with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste until soft. It may take 7-8 minutes for the pieces to get cooked. Drain excess water and keep it aside. (You can also cover and cook the plantain with very little water but it may end up mushy. I prefer boiling it in plenty of water and then draining it.)
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet and splutter mustard seeds. Saute shallots, curry leaves and garlic until the shallots begin to lightly brown.
  4. Add the cooked plantain pieces to the skillet. Add 1/2 tsp red chilly powder and 1 tsp red chilly flakes. Add salt only if needed. Mix everything and then spread it out as much as possible.
  5. Allow the plantain pieces to lightly brown on the edges, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp black pepper powder and toss everything.
  6. Finally, drizzle 1 tsp of coconut oil to coat the pieces. Remove from heat and serve with Rice.

Note

  • I prefer making Vazhakka Mezhkkupuratti completely dry but if you like it slightly mushy, just sprinkle a few tea spoons of water and keep it covered while cooking instead of allowing it to brown.

 

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Carrot Kichadi

Wishing you all a very Happy Onam!!! Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Sadhya with family and friends. We had a yummy Sadhya at a friend’s house. Here is an Onam Sadhya special side dish – Carrot Pachadi/Kichadi. I usually make Pachadi for Onam with Pineapple but this time I thought I would make a Pachadi with Carrot since I didn’t have Beetroot. I add ground mustard seeds while making Pachadi but yesterday while speaking to a friend, she told me that they don’t add ground mustard seeds to some Pachadis such as Beetroot whereas for Pavakka (Bitter Gourd) and Vellarikka (Melon Cucumber) Pachadis, ground mustard is always added.

Carrot Pachadi

Carrot Pachadi

To add to the confusion, Pachadi is often known as Kichadi in southern Kerala. The terminology has always been confusing to me, but I guess Pachadi and Kichadi are more or less the same with a few subtle differences. I read somewhere that ground mustards are not added to Kichadis. I prepared this dish without ground mustards so I think I will call it Carrot Kichadi. This is a very mild side dish and is perfect for Onam.

Kerala Carrot Pachadi

Kerala Carrot Pachadi/Kichadi

Serves : 5 to 6

Ingredients

  1. Carrot – 2 large
  2. Slit Green Chillies – 2
  3. Thick Curd – 1/4 cup
  4. Salt – to taste
  5. Sugar – 1 to 2 tsp (optional)

For Grinding

  1. Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
  2. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  3. Chopped Ginger – 2 tsp approx

For Seasoning

  1. Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  3. Dry Red Chillies – 3 or 4
  4. Curry Leaves – a big sprig

Preparation Method

  1. Peel the carrots and shred it using a hand grater or food processor.
  2. Cook the carrots with little water, slit green chillies and salt to taste for around 5-7 minutes.
  3. Grind coconut along with the green chillies from the carrot and the other ingredients (turmeric and ginger) to form a nice paste and keep aside.
  4. Blend the curd with little salt until smooth and keep aside.
  5. Once the carrots are cooked, add the ground coconut paste to the pan.
  6. Continue cooking on medium heat for another 5-8 minutes so that it becomes thick.
  7. Reduce heat and add the curd to the pan. Mix everything and remove from heat. Add sugar if you like it sweet.
  8. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds, saute dry red chillies and curry leaves for a few minutes.
  9. Pour the seasoning over the Carrot Pachadi. Mix gently.

Notes

  • Sour Curd is usually preferred while making Pachadi and Kichadi. However, you can also use Yogurt if you don’t have curd.
  • If you want to make this Pachadi a bit sweet, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of sugar or powdered jaggery.

 

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