Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like….
– Mark Twain
I have been blogging for over a year now. Over the past one year, I have learned a lot – about blogging, cooking, writing, experimenting with food. Each and every day in the life of a blogger is a learning experience and mine is no different. If you look at some of the older recipes and pictures, you can see a tremendous difference over the course of a year. I (I should probably say “we” since this blog is kind of family run) am constantly working to make this blog a better experience for you. To give you delicious recipes & beautiful pictures (after all, sight is one of the major senses that you use to enjoy your food).
I wanted to do something special for Mother’s day this year. Instead of posting recipes from my repertoire, I decided to ask my friends who have been a pillar of support even before Framed Recipes was born last year, to share their favorite recipe from their mother’s cooking. This is the third post in that series. The first post was the lip-smacking Ulli Theeyal and the second one was a vegan, gluten free spin on the South Indian breakfast dish Upma – a dish that was passed down from generations in my husband’s family called the Podichundaakkiya Upma.
My third post in the series is this rich and creamy fish curry with coconut milk.. My childhood friend, Pooja, who shared the recipe, has been encouraging me to start a food blog even when I was not even contemplating the idea of a blog. She even helped me with some copyright information and “legalese” at that time, but I had shelved the blogging idea for more than 2 years. And once I started blogging, she has supported and encouraged me in every step of the way.
When I asked whether she would be willing to share her favorite recipe from her mother’s cooking, she did not have to think twice to decide which one she wants to share and once I prepared it, I knew why 🙂 . With this fish curry, I hope you will see how beautiful, delicate and elegant Kerala cuisine is. This dish is typical of Kerala, reminiscent of everything Kerala: sea food, coconut milk, raw mango, coconut oil and spices. Oh so yum!
The spices have to be crushed with your fingertips to kind of squeeze out the maximum flavor out of them. So, don’t hesitate to use your fingertips, results are best when you do that. The souring agent during mango season will mostly be raw mango. If you don’t find raw mango feel free to use “kodumpuli“/Malabar Tamarind. In situations where I did not have kodumpuli in my pantry, I have used regular tamarind, which worked fine, though I missed the aroma of the kodumpuli. When you use kodumpuli, it also adds a whiff of smoky flavor which is inherent to the Malabar tamarind which is also called fish tamarind.
When I tried Pooja’s recipe for Fish Curry with Coconut milk for the first time, I did not have raw mango, and I decided to use the tart apples I had left over from making the apple pickle, hoping that it would give it a nice tangy flavor. I used a whole apple (diced), but still had to use Tamarind to give the sourness we liked. But I loved the use of apples in the dish, it gave a little thickness to the gravy that I really loved.
I fell in love, love, love with the color of this fish curry. The beautiful golden yellow hue was the result of using turmeric, Cayenne and Paprika. I fiddled with the combination to get that perfect color and the combination I have given in the recipe works the best for me. You can also play around with turmeric and red chilli powder (or a combination of Cayenne and Paprika to get the desired color). The majority of the heat of this dish comes from the Serrano Peppers/Green Chillies used. I have to tell you something here… typically when you use raw mangoes in Kerala style curries, you peel the green skin before cooking the raw mangoes. But since buying a raw mango happens once in a blue moon in our household, I always use peels as well. I feel that the mango pieces hold their shape well if you do not remove the peel. Of course, this is a personal preference. 🙂
This is best served with boiled rice. I love this fish curry when it is paired with a rice that is un-husked and has a faint brownish red hue. Again, Oh, so yum!
This dish is typical of Kerala, reminiscent of everything Kerala: sea food, coconut milk, raw mango, coconut oil and spices. Oh so yum!
5 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1/2 Kilogram (500g/1 lb) Mahi Mahi Fillet (See Recipe Notes)
- 1 tablespoon Chopped ginger
- 3-4 Shallots/Red Pearl Onions (medium sized); Sliced thin
- 2-3 Serrano Pepper (or equivalent amount of Green Chillies; adjust to taste); Roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric/Turmeric Powder/Haldi
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne/Indian Red chilli Powder
- 1 teaspoon Paprika (Optional)
- 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander/ Coriander Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper/Black Pepper Powder
- 1 Raw Mango (sour); Roughly chopped
- 10-12 Curry Leaves; divided
- 1 tablespoon CoconutOIl ; divided
- 1 cup Coconut Milk (See Recipe Notes)
- Salt to taste
- Medium sized Sauce Pan
- Chopping board and knives
- Measuring cups and spoons (optional)
- Steamed/Boiled Rice
- Cut the fish fillet into pieces.
- Add chopped ginger, sliced shallots, serrano pepper pieces, ground turmeric, cayenne pepper, Paprika, ground coriander, ground black pepper, 5-6 curry leaves and salt into the sauce pan & crush them all together with 2 teaspoon coconut oil.
- Add the chopped mango pieces to the crushed spices along with some water and bring to a boil.
- Add the Fish pieces and a little water (about 1/2 cup). cover and cook the fish pieces.
- Once the fish pieces are cooked well and most of the water has evoporated, add coconut milk. Remove from the heat. Drizzle a teaspoon of coconut oil and garnish with curry leaves.
- Serve hot with steamed or boiled rice.
1. Crushing the spices with your fingertips brings out the best flavors. Wash your hands immediately after this to avoid stinging.
2. In case you do not find raw mango, you can also use fish tamarind/Malabar Tamarind. I have also used regular tamarind as well.
3. Typically, thick coconut milk is used. You can use freshly pressed coconut milk, or from a can. I have also used the "Maggi Coconut Milk powder (4 heaped tablespoon) mixed with a cup of water.
4. If you are using Kodumpuli, rinse it a couple of times, and soak in water for a few minutes to soften it, before adding it to the curry.