Fish Chili Curry or Meen Mulaku curry

This fish curry gives the best kick…

It was an incredible day today. I went for a Middle Eastern food festival and had a taste of almost all popular dishes in the Middle East. I am totally in love with Kabsa, Saudi Arabian speciality; it was like biryani: long basmati rice and chicken, unlike Indian biryani this didin’t have any masala yet it tasted so delectable. I cannot wait to try it in my kitchen, I’ve already started searching for a good recipe for making kabsa. They had a lot of lamb and beef dishes, samosas, buns stuffed with beef, stuffed grape leaves, pastries, sweets etc etc. I also had a taste of Arabian coffee, well I was expecting something strong but it was a very light coffee and aromatic, they add cardamom, cloves, saffron to their coffee…

Last week, I had a craving for fish curry and Kappa (tapioca), you all know that if I get the craving I’ve to succumb to it. This time, I wanted to try a different fish curry recipe that I got from a Kerala cooking show (Taste of Kerala). It’s called Meen Mulaku curry or fish chili curry. The main ingredient in this recipe is kashmiri red chili powder which gives the intense red and spicy taste. Only a very few ingredients are used to make this fish curry, but the taste of this curry was just amazing. I had kappa or tapioca along with this curry, believe me this is my new favorite fish curry.

I added sardines (Chala) fish, but you can add almost any kind of fish for making this curry. Indian Mackerel (Ayala), tuna can be used too. I even tried with mussel, it was really good. Well, I prefer fish rather than mussel or shell fish.

You are guaranteed to lick your fingersss…

Fish chili curry or Meen Mulaku Curry

Kappa or Tapioca recipe is here

Ingredients

To grind to paste:

  • Small Onions- 8
  • Kashmiri red chili powder- 2 tbsp or according to your spice level
  • Fennel powder- 1 tbsp

While cooking

  • Sardines or any fish- 10 sardines or 8 fish pieces
  • Coconut oil or vegetable oil- 2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
  • Small onions, chopped- 10
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Tamarind, fresh- 3 inch slice soaked in 1/4 cup warm water or (use Coccum or Kodampuli- 4 pieces)
  • Salt- to taste

Instruction

  • If using sardines, remove the internal organs, sprinkle some salt to the fish and rinse well under water.
  • If using fresh tamarind, soak it in 1/4 cup warm water for 5 minutes, mash it into the water and strain the juice.
  • If using coccum or kodampuli, soak 4 pieces in 1/4 cup water.
  • If using concentrated tamarind paste use very less may be 1 tsp.
  • Grind small onions, Kashmiri red chili powder and fennel powder to a smooth paste, add little water while grinding. Keep aside.
  • Place a saucepan or claypot over medium heat, add oil and let it turn hot.
  • Add fenugreek seeds, saute for a couple of seconds, don’t brown it.
  • Add chopped small onions and curry leaves, saute till onions turn light golden.
  • Add the ground paste to the pan, saute it well in oil for 3 minutes till the raw smell of red chili powder/onions goes away, make sure not to burn the paste.
  • Add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup water, let it come to a slight boil.
  • Add the fresh strained tamarind juice or coccum pieces, combine well.
  • Add enough salt to taste.
  • Now, add the fish to the gravy.
  • Cook covered for sometime till the fish has cooked well and the gravy has thickened.
  • Don’t stir too much as the fish would break apart, you could swirl the pan to combine.
  • If you want you could add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of ground pepper as well.
  • Taste and add more salt if needed, swirl the pan to combine.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered for sometime.
  • This curry tastes really incredible with Kappa or tapioca.
  • Not to mention, this fish curry tastes better the next day!

Tips

  • Make sure to use Kashmiri red chili powder, regular chili powder is very spicy.

 

Fish Chili Curry or Meen Mulaku curry
 
Ingredients
To grind to paste:
  • Small Onions- 8
  • Kashmiri red chili powder- 2 tbsp or according to your spice level
  • Fennel powder- 1 tbsp
While cooking
  • Sardines or any fish- 10 sardines or 8 fish pieces
  • Coconut oil or vegetable oil- 2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
  • Small onions, chopped- 10
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Tamarind, fresh- 3 inch slice soaked in ¼ cup warm water or (use Coccum or Kodampuli- 4 pieces)
  • Salt- to taste
Instructions
  1. If using sardines, remove the internal organs, sprinkle some salt to the fish and rinse well under water.
  2. If using fresh tamarind, soak it in ¼ cup warm water for 5 minutes, mash it into the water and strain the juice.
  3. If using coccum or kodampuli, soak 4 pieces in ¼ cup water.
  4. If using concentrated tamarind paste use very less may be 1 tsp.
  5. Grind small onions, Kashmiri red chili powder and fennel powder to a smooth paste, add little water while grinding. Keep aside.
  6. Place a saucepan or claypot over medium heat, add oil and let it turn hot.
  7. Add fenugreek seeds, saute for a couple of seconds, don't brown it.
  8. Add chopped small onions and curry leaves, saute till onions turn light golden.
  9. Add the ground paste to the pan, saute it well in oil for 3 minutes till the raw smell of red chili powder/onions goes away, make sure not to burn the paste.
  10. Add ½ cup to ¾ cup water, let it come to a slight boil.
  11. Add the fresh strained tamarind juice or coccum pieces, combine well.
  12. Add enough salt to taste.
  13. Now, add the fish to the gravy.
  14. Cook covered for sometime till the fish has cooked well and the gravy has thickened.
  15. Don't stir too much as the fish would break apart, you could swirl the pan to combine.
  16. If you want you could add ¼ to ½ tsp of ground pepper as well.
  17. Taste and add more salt if needed, swirl the pan to combine.
  18. Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered for sometime.
  19. This curry tastes really incredible with Kappa or tapioca.
  20. Not to mention, this fish curry tastes better the next day!
Notes
Make sure to use Kashmiri red chili powder, regular chili powder is very spicy.

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