Meen Molee / Halibut in Spicy Coconut Gravy

2010
07.20

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So, what do you think of my new bootylicious sexy acquisition from India? I can’t describe what joy it has been to cook in it. I have 4 of these meen chettis. One specially reserved for the meen curries, another for the thorans and mezuhuveratis and the remaining two will act as stand bys. That’s the only way I can keep my chettis from harms way. Oh, don’t sneer. That’s how things work in this cosmic world of providence! If you have a back up, nothing can/will go wrong. If you DON’T, things can go spiraling out of control. In this case, I can be sure to wake up, and find my chettis victims of a bizarre earthquake, with the epicenter  right under their butts. Leer and snicker all you want people, but I’m telling you, when it comes to fate, no-siree, uh-uh, I’m not taking my chances.
I shall reserve my findings of Karma and the workings of the mystical world  for another day or may be another site. What do you suggest? Do you think  people coming here would be interested in more than food and care two hoots about where their rear ends would eventually rest? And,  I digress (again!).

So, the Meen Molee is Kerala’s answer for a sea food dish that goes well with Indian flat breads. While I’m a huge fan of the traditional fish curry with the kudam pulli in it, I’m really not much into this dish. But, Roy and Nish could lick bowls of this clean! And since we’ve made the transition from (slurp slurp) rice to rotis for dinner, they’ve been lucky, as I’ve had to make more of this kind.
My suggestion while making this would be to use less fishy fishes or, to use fillets where you don’t need to deal with the skin. Again, IMO only. I’ve used halibut here. But you could use anything like salmon, cod, tilapia fillets etc.

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 Ingredients
1 lb skinless fillets of Halibut cut into one serving size pieces
1 medium red onion finely sliced
2 –3 green chilies slit into two
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 large tomato cut into large chunks
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp kerala garam masala
1 tsp red chili powder
1 cup thick coconut milk from a can (if you are using fresh coconut milk, use all the milk extracted from 1 small coconut, keep the thick and the thin milk separate)
3 tbsp lemon juice 
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp powdered roasted fenugreek seeds
1-2 sprigs of curry leaves
2- 3 shallots finely sliced
Salt – to taste

 Directions

  • Marinate the fish fillets with lemon juice, salt, black pepper and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add powdered fenugreek and sauté for 30 secs.
  • Add sliced onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute.
  • Add green chilies,tomatoes, turmeric, coriander, chili powder, garam masala, salt and sauté well until the tomatoes form a mush.
  • Add one cup of water if you are using canned milk or one cup of thin coconut milk if you are using fresh milk.
  • When the coconut milk/water  comes to boil, add the fish fillets and cook covered on medium flame for 10 minutes or till the gravy starts to thicken.
  • Pour 1 cup of thick coconut milk and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a pan, add in mustard seeds, when they pop, add the curry leaves and shallots.
  • Sauté until the shallots are nicely fired.
  • Pour the seasoning over the curry, mix gently and switch off the flame.
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