Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kerala Style Fish Molly/Molee Recipe

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Kerala fish molly or molee is a mildly spiced fish stew recipe from Kerala.

I am at Trivandrum, enjoying my extended Easter holidays with my parents, brothers, sis-in-laws, nephews, and nieces. My kids are having a blast with their cousins. Everything was so calm and sunny around here. Suddenly there was this Tsunami warning and a small earthquake. My brother who was taking a nap felt the earthquake and at first thought that kids might be under the bed and shaking him.....and after a moment or struck him...Good Lord, its an Earthquake.
TV news was showing Tsunami will hit Trivandrum at 5.25 p.m. and that was scary.....but thanks to the Almighty the alert was called off.....everybody was back to their routine in minutes.....still I was a bit worried and was flipping news channels....and finally calmed myself down.

Amma made fish molee to ease the Tsunami scare.....well that's the beauty of food.....especially comforting food which take us back to our nostalgic self.

Fish molee is a simple and easy coconut based curry that might have been brought to kerala by the French, Spanish, or the Portuguese who sailed to Kerala.....its a light curry, very similar to stew.  You can make this using coconut powder or fresh coconut milk or canned coconut milk....but fresh coconut milk is preferred. Since this dish is very mild and light or blanch....the freshness of the fish is very important....if you use old and frozen fish....the taste do not compromise on the freshness of the fish. You might have come across fish molee recipe where the fish is fried lightly before immersing into the amma states that there is no need to fry fish if your fish is fresh (according to her in olden days fish is fried lightly to retain his freshness till the curry is made; remember there was no refrigerator during those days.)

Fish suitable for molee are pearl fish, seer fish, butter fish, or prompret.

An Update: My recipe got the best dish award by Kerala Kitchen

 Seer Fish: 1/2 kg.
Onion: 2 medium, sliced.
Ginger: 1 inch piece, thinly sliced.
Garlic: 3 or 4 cloves.
Dried Red Chilly: 4 (increase or decrease according to your tolerance level)
Green chilly: 4, slit.(ncrease or decrease according to your tolerance level)
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp.
Vinegar: 1tbsp.
Tomato: 1, sliced.
Thin coconut milk: 1/2 cup.
Thick coconut milk: 3/4 to 1 cup (if you are using coconut powder then mix the powder in 1 cup of water).
Cornflour: 1 tsp.
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp.
Curry leaves and salt to taste.

In a kadai or cheenachatti, heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil and add the sliced onion, sliced ginger, and green chillies. Lightly saute it.

Meanwhile in your small grinder, grind coarsely red chilly and garlic. Add this to the onion. Onion should not loose its colour ; it should be only transparent, so simmer the flame.

Add the turmeric, when the raw smell goes, add the thin milk, vinegar, and salt. Let it boil.

Simmer and add the fish and the curry leaves. 

When the thin milk has reduced, pour in the thick milk which is mixed with 1 tsp cornflour. Allow it to simmer and let the gravy becomes thick. (If using coconut powder then mix the powder with water and cornflour and skip the thin milk).

Cut 1 tomato into thin slices and put it on top of the fish. Let it stay for a minute and then switch off the fire. Fish molee is ready to be served.

The best combination is plain bread....

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