Irumban puli-itta-meen-curry a.k.a fish cooked with Averrhoa bilimbi in fresh coconut gravy, is a typical South Kerala dish. Fish is cooked with irumban puli for sourness instead of tomatoes or kudampuli and freshly scraped coconut is grinded into a paste and mixed into the curry, the fish is cooked in this coconut gravy with a bunch of curry leaves and lastly drizzled with coconut oil. A mildly spiced curry, an every day curry from down South, Thiruvanathapuram, the city I lived 23 years of my life.
I had a brief visit to my parents home sometime back; most backyards of kerala houses boasts of one bilimbi tree at least and so does my parents backyard.
Amma makes this special meen curry and pickle with this puli, though I love to have this raw dipped in salt.....a favorite childhood snack during summer.
Recipe Source: Amma.
Fish: 250-300 gms.
Iruban puli: A handful, chopped or slit.(or you can use 3 tomatoes).
Green Chilies: 2 or 3.
Turmeric powder: A fat pinch.
Coconut oil: 1 tsp to drizzle.
Salt to taste.
Fresh coconut scraped: 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp.
Shallots (3 or 4) or onion: 1/4, chopped.
Garlic: 3 or 4 cloves.
Ginger: 1/2 inch piece.
Kashmiri red chilly powder: 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Place the cleaned and cut fish in a clay pan a.k.a "maan chatti". This is my black earthen "chatti", you can use any pan; like aluminium, iron, or steel. But for us Keralites fish cooked in an earthen pan has an earthy flavor which makes the dish unique.
Add in the chopped irubam puli. A fat pinch of turmeric and about a tsp of salt.
Put all the ingredients under "to grind" in a grinder.
Grind to a smooth paste.
Put this grinded coconut mixture over the fish.
Add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water and mix it well. Then add the slit green chilies and curry leaves...you need plenty of curry leaves . Give it a stir, and heat the pan, allow the curry to boil, cover the pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes and or until the fish is cooked.
Drizzle a tablespoon of coconut oil, swirl the pan, cover and switch off the fire.
Perfect with rice, roti, or even puttu.
Enjoy this lightly spiced healthy fish curry.
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