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Kerala Style Fish Molly/Molee Recipe

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....


  1. Wat a super tempting fish molee..Makes me hungry..

    1. Thanks priya, yes its one of my favorite and tempting too.

  2. its my fav..looks delicious dear.

  3. delicious fish molee!.........nice step by step pics...will def try this out soon ..thanks.

  4. This looks delicious! I Would love to have you link up to my 2 carnivals today.... (anything food related) and (deserts only). Hope to see you around!

  5. Molee with fresh fish,delicious.

  6. Hi Nisa, I came across your blog just today and ended up browsing almost all of your recipes! You do indeed make cooking sound really easy, specially your step-by-step pictures. I've also noticed that your food photography has come a long way since you started this blog!

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Hi Nisa,
    What a beautiful presentation for your Fish Molee/Molly. It looks like it would have so much flavor and enjoyment. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. I'm so glad the tsunami didn't hit! Bet that was scary. I can almost smell this fish molee from your pictures! Looks delicious!

  9. perfect fish molee..i just had it last week at amma's place..thanks for sharing it in kerala kitchen

  10. mmmmmmmmmmmm Its Just Yummy Tasty

  11. An award for this dish is awaiting at my place..Grab it soon

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. The receipe cant be simpler than this. very good presentation.

  14. Hey I made this today and my folks loved it! Thanks for sharing buddy! Bless u girlie!!


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