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Kerala Fish Curry | Nadan Fish Curry (Kottayam Style)


Kerala fish curry recipe, learn to make Kottayam style Kerala fish curry/ Nadan fish curry with step by step pictures.

Nadan Meen Curry or Kerala Fish Curry is a traditional fish curry of Kerala otherwise known as Kottayam Fish Curry or Kerala Meen Curry,  which is spicy and made with "Kudam puli" or Garcinia cambogia. Kudam puli is noted for its health benefits and traditionally used in fish curries, hence it also has the name "Meen Puli" or "Fish Tamarind".

kerala fish curry


It is said, fish curry made with kudam puli stays fresh longer, traditionally this fish curry is made in a "man chatti" or clay pot. I used my black clay "chatti" ....you can also use the most common brown man chatti. Kudampuli, shallots, and curry leaves gives it its authentic taste though you can substitute it with onion....but the taste may vary slightly.


If you ever visit Kottayam or Kuttanad or Kumarakom....you should always ask for "meen pattichathu" though it is a bit spicy .....it is a must try!!  This is also a combination with boiled tapioca or kappa puzhungiyathu.

This recipe has been handed down from generations ...I practically grow up with this curry and so did my cousins and relatives.... in most Syrian Christian homes it is prepared almost every day. It is always said that this curry taste better the next day....so amma always says that let it sit in the "Meen Chatti" for a day, so that the fish gets absorbed by the "kudampuli" and the spices....and the gravy will get a little thick once it has cooled down.

You will be astonished at the amount of Kashmiri chilly used in this recipe....and if you like spicy food...you will love this to bits.

I have to mention, that a very encouraging reader, Alex Mathew, suggested that I make step by step method for this fish curry....with the correct amount of water etc...thank you Alex for giving me this suggestion which I hope will help all the novice cooks.....and ofcourse bachelors.
kerala fish curry recipe


Kerala fish curry/ Nadan fish curry with step by step pictures:
 Here are the stars! the cleaned fish, cheriya ulli or shallots, curry leaves, green chilli, ginger, garlic, and kudam puli.
 All sliced finely.

In half cup water, soak the cleaned and washed kudam puli....keep aside.

Heat a "manchatti" claypot or a nonstick pan with 2 tbsp pf coconut oil, add in 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds...allow it to splutter.

Add in the sliced shallots, ginger-garlic, green chilli, curry leaves.....lightly saute it on medium flame.

You need to saute it till lit starts to get slightly brown...remember that shallots brown pretty fast compared to onions.

Put the fire on medium, add in the 4 tbsp of Kashmiri Chilly Powder (I used all of 4 tbsp, but if you are not so spicy reduce 1 tbsp).
Add in the turmeric powder.

Pepper powder.

Remember the fire is on low or else the red chilly will get burnt.....mix them all.

Keep stirring or mixing until the raw flavor diminishes....your are bound to sneeze and cough...so open the windows, turn on the exhaust fan or chimney :)

The stirring continues for probably, somewhere between 5 to 7 min.....taking care not to burn it...so the fire is on low and stir.
I hope my camera is doing justice....just wanted to show you how the color has slightly changed to a darker red....

Add in the soaked kudampuli along with the water.

Add in the rest of the water...about 1 1/4 cup.....adjust accordingly.

Put the flame on high, mix well add salt.

Once it starts boiling add the fish, gently lay them.

I like to spring some extra curry leaves for added flavor ...as the flavor of the raw curry leaves also get absorbed into the curry......this is optional though...(My grandma used to sprinkle a fat pinch of fresh pepper powder too at this stage, it is optional)

Cover and cook on low or medium flame....for about 10-15 min...in between do check whether the fish gets sticked to the pan...so it is advisable to swirl the pan or stir slowly with a spoon taking care not to break the fish. Once done... open, and sprinkle a fat pinch of fenugreek (uluva podi) powder and a drizzle of coconut oil....switch off the fire. Allow it to cool down....and the gravy will thicken a bit too.

Enjoy fish curry with hot rice.
nadan fish curry
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Shrimp Fried Rice

Kerala Fish Curry | Nadan Fish Curry (Kottayam Style)


PREP TIME: 10 mins    |  COOK TIME: 20 mins    |  AUTHOR::
  kerala fish curry  

  INGREDIENTS

  • Fish: Half Kilo (I used Mackerel)
  • Coconut Oil: 2-3 tbsp
  • Shallots: A handful or 10-15, sliced. OR half onion, chopped
  • Green chilli: 2 small, or 1 large
  • Ginger: 1 inch, sliced finely
  • Garlic: 5 or 6 cloves, sliced
  • Kudam puli: 3 or 4, shredded
  • Kashmiri Chilly Powder: 3 to 4 tbsp.(adjust accordingly, use only Kashmiri Chilly Powder)
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek (uluva) seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Water: 1 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup water to soak puli (sometimes you may need 1/4 cup more, so increase accordingly)
  • Fenugreek powder: A fat pinch
  • Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
  • Salt: 1 1/2 tsp, increase or decrease accordingly
  • 1/2 tsp extra coconut oil to drizzle (optional)


  METHOD:

  1. Slice, the shallots. green chilies, ginger, garlic and keep aside. Soak kudampuli in little water and keep aside. Heat a "manchatti" claypot or a nonstick pan with 2 - 3tbsp pf coconut oil, add in 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, allow it to splutter.
  2. Add in the sliced shallots, ginger-garlic, green chilli, curry leaves, lightly saute it on medium flame
  3. You need to saute it till lit starts to get slightly brown, remember that shallots brown pretty fast compared to onions.
  4. Put the fire on medium, add in the 4 tbsp of Kashmiri Chilly Powder (I used all of 4 tbsp, but if you are not so spicy reduce 1 tbsp).
  5. Add in the turmeric powder, pepper powder. Remember the fire is on low or else the red chilly will get burnt, mix them all.
  6. Keep stirring or mixing until the raw flavor diminishes and chilli powder is lightly roasted.
  7. Add in the soaked kudampuli along with the water. Add in the rest of the water, about 1 1/4 cup adjust accordingly. Put the flame on high, mix well add salt. Once it starts boiling add the fish, gently lay them.
  8. I like to spring some extra curry leaves for added flavor ...as the flavor of the raw curry leaves also get absorbed into the curry, this is optional though (My grandma used to sprinkle a fat pinch of fresh pepper powder too at this stage, it is optional).
  9. Cover and cook on low or medium flame for about 10-15 min...in between do check whether the fish gets sticked to the pan...so it is advisable to swirl the pan or stir slowly with a spoon taking care not to break the fish. Once done... open, and sprinkle a fat pinch of fenugreek (uluva podi) powder and a drizzle of coconut oil, switch off the fire. Allow it to cool down and the gravy will thicken a bit too.
  10. Enjoy fish curry with hot rice.

NOTES

  • I would highly recommend a clay/manchatti... aluminum pan is not favored for cooking with kudampuli...though you can with nonstick pan....but I have to mention that the clay pan will absorb some of the excess moisture, thus making the gravy slightly thicker when it cools down.
  • Always use coconut oil and lots of curry leaves, shallots or cheriya ulli gives its authentic taste, but you can substitute with onion.
  • he amount of chilly powder will "frighten" you, but let me assure you that this curry is made with chilly powder, so please use Kashmiri Chilly Powder as it has less heat and great color.....though if you do not favor chilly, you can reduce by 1 tbsp...although once the curry sits in for a few hours,the spices will be soaked in by the fish...and for your ease I used measuring spoon while making this.
  • It is always best to clean the kudampuli under running water, use your fingers to clean it, then put it in half cup water to soak.
  • Some like the curry to be thick, and some like it a little thinner, so adjust water accordingly.
  • This cannot be made with tamarind, kudampuli is needed, so next time you visit Kerala make sure you grab some of them.
  • Any fish except anchovies are preferably used to make this curry....though bigger fish is always preferred. Fish like sardines, mackerel, seer fish, butter fish, pomfret etc. I made with half kilo mackerel.
  • My grandmas tip: towards the end, just before switching off the fire...she would sprinkle a fat pinch of fenugreek (uluva) powder and drizzle a bit of coconut oil....(half tsp) and immediately switch off the fire and swirl hot chatti or pan and cover and keep....and yes that makes it perfect!!

©Copyright Reserved, first published on nisahomey.com

Comments

  1. Wow...Pictures are making me drool. Bookmarking this recipe. can I Kodumpuli in any of the ayurveda shops here in chennai? Any idea Nisha?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uma, I think you can get it in "reliance" or "More" supermarkets...as I have seen them in their branches here.....but do give ayurveda shops a try too....thank you for stopping by :)

      Delete
  2. amazing .. that first and last picture drives me crazy.
    that karutha chatti is truly nadan!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow what a colur!really missing my Ammas meen curry !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amma's food is always nostalgic :) thanks for stopping by Remya!

      Delete
  4. wow, love the pot.Wonderful clicks and yummy curry Nisa

    ReplyDelete
  5. this looks absolutely amazing... would love to grab it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The last pic of fish curry is tempting me...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Meen curry looks delicious Adipoli.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Omg, Colour of the curry is just amazing... mouthwatering here..

    ReplyDelete
  9. I tried your recipe and it turned out great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I am so glad that you enjoyed it...thanks for stopping by with the feedback.

      Delete
  10. I tried your recipe and it turned out great.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Replies
    1. Thanks Samantha for the feedback, though I still have not tried with tamarind personally.

      Delete

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