Kerala style fish mappas or meen mappas is a Syrian Christian delicacy, also known as Kottayam style Meen Mappas wherein fish is cooked in creamy coconut milk with tomatoes. It is an excellent side dish and goes with puttu, appams, roti, and rice; though I prefer to have it with puttu....
Mappas is a coconut based curry, made with coconut milk, spices, and tomatoes. You can make a vegetable version with ladies finger (vendakka mappas) or make the gravy of vendakka mappas and simply add boiled eggs to it (eggg mappas). Usually I prefer Chicken mappas with appam, but for special occasions like weddings, baptisms etc; mutton or duck mappas is preferred.
Fishes like pomfret, seer fish, butter fish (moda), pearl spot fish (karimeen fish) is most suitable for this curry. I have fond memories of my late ammachi (grand mother) making this for us cousins, during our summer holidays....ah! those were the pleasures of growing up.
So lets get cooking.
Author: Nisa Homey.
Fish: 1/2 kg, I used pomfret.
Onion: 1 1/2 medium sized, sliced.
Tomato: 3 (use 2 tomatoes for sauting and reserve one for later use).
Ginger: 1 inch, minced or chopped finely.
Garlic: 5 to 6 cloves, chopped.
Green Chilly: 2 or 3, slit.
Vinegar: 1 tsp.
Kashmiri Red chilly powder: 2 tsp.
Fresh coriander powder: 2-3 tsp.
Turmeric: A fat pinch.
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Pepper corns: 1/4 tsp.
Cinnamon: 1/4 inch.
Cloves: 1/4 tsp.
Coconut milk: 1 cup. (you can also use readymade coconut milk powder, I used maggi coconut milk powder).
Thin coconut milk: 1/2 cup.
Coconut oil as needed
You do not need much oil to make this curry. Heat a kadai with 2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and add in the pepper corns, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamon. Simmer the fire and then add sliced onion, ginger-garlic, green chilly, and curry leaves....saute for 2 min... onion need not be browned, just beginning to brown is enough.
Then add the red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric, and pepper powder.
Mix the masalas and lightly fry it.....till the raw flavor vanishes....remember low flame is the rule here.
Add in just two tomatoes....stir, add salt...do not saute the tomatoes for long, they just have to blend into the masala....you do not have to saute the tomatoes till oil comes on top.
Add 1/2 cup thin coconut milk and gently add the fish....Cover and cook for about 5 to 7 min, occasionally swirling the pan, so that the fish does not get sticked to the bottom. Once the gravy has reduced, add the whole coconut milk and gently stir, taking care not to crumble the fish. At this point slice the kept aside tomato and add into the bubbling gravy, allow it to stand for a min or two and then switch off fire...add curry leaves.
Notes: #If you want to learn how to take milk from fresh coconut click here.
# For fish mappas, I do not add garam masala powder.
Other Fish Recipes:
Kerala Style Fish Fry.