Roasted Coconut Fish Curry – Kerala Style Varutharacha Meen Curry

Content feeling after a typical Kerala style lunch…

Having a long weekend, I feel so relaxed and wonderful. The weather was more than perfect, the sun kept shining over the weekend without any denial. I dedicated my weekend solely for gardening and beautifying the backyard. Finally, my first ever veggie garden is up in my yard. I planted tomatoes, bell peppers, peppers, different kind of beans, squash and cantaloupe. Now, I am eagerly waiting to harvest the veggies and fruits 🙂

Last Saturday, I made a Kerala style lunch. I don’t make these kind of lunch quite often and hence I felt so homely and content. A typical Kerala lunch includes rice, fish curry, fish fry, veggie stir fry etc. I made fish curry in roasted coconut gravy, Kappa or Tapioca stir fry in coconut gravy and fish fry.

There are so many different ways of making fish curry, here is one of my favorite ways using roasted coconut to make the gravy. My mom makes this curry in a clay pot which makes this curry taste good, also this curry tastes better the next day. This fish curry goes really well with tapioca. I will soon post the recipe for making Kerala style Tapioca.

Varutharacha Meen Curry Or Fish in Roasted Coconut Gravy

Ingredients:

For making gravy:

  • Fish, cut into cubes- 8 cubes ( King fish, pomfret- I used sardines)
  • Drumsticks cut- 3 (or use eggplants or tomatoes, cubed)
  • Tamarind, fresh- 2 inch slice, soaked in 3 tbsp warm water
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Green chilies, split lengthwise- 2

For roasting coconut:

  • Coconut oil or vegetable oil- 2 tbsp
  • Coconut, grated- 2 cups
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Small onions or pearl onions- 5
  • Chili powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/8 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel powder- 1 tsp (optional)
  • Ground pepper- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Water- 1 1/2 cups while grinding+ more to thin down the gravy

Instruction

  • Clean the fish, remove the scales and internal organs, cut into 2 inch pieces and keep aside.
  • You could use king fish or pomfret, I used sardines.
  • You could use bone in or boneless fish for making this curry. I prefer bone in fish as it tastes better.
  • If you can get hold of drumsticks which is available in some of the Indian and Asian stores use that, else use diced eggplants (10 cubes) or 2 tomatoes.
  • Cut the drumsticks into 3 inch slices.
  • Into a large pan, add the fish, drumsticks or eggplant together, add green chilies and curry leaves, keep aside.
  • In a small bowl, soak tamarind in 3 tbsp warm water for 3 minutes.
  • Smash the soaked tamarind in water and drain the juice after discarding the seeds or any any fiber, keep 2 1/2 tbsp of juice aside.

Roasting coconut:

  • Heat a large skillet or non stick pan over medium heat, add oil.
  • Add coconut, small onions and curry leaves, stir fry the coconut till it turns golden brown in color.
  • Keep stirring for even roasting and to avoid it from burning.
  • When the coconut has roasted well, add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, ground pepper and salt.
  • Combine everything well and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool down.
  • In a blender, grind the roasted coconut along with 1 1/2 cups of water to a smooth paste.
  • If the mixture is too thick add some more water while grinding.
  • After it turns into a smooth paste, pour the ground paste into the pan containing the fish and drumsticks.
  • Add 1/2 cup more water to thin down the paste.
  • Add 2 1/2 tbsp thick tamarind juice to the gravy and combine well.
  • Cook the fish along with the roasted coconut gravy, keep the pan covered with its lid- for 7 minutes.
  • When the gravy comes to a boil, open the lid slightly and let cook for 2 minutes.
  • Don’t over cook the fish or stir the fish too much as it will start to fall apart.
  • Lower the heat and cook for 2 minutes.
  • If the gravy is too thick, add some water to thin it down and heat.
  • Taste the gravy and adjust salt according to your needs.
  • Remove from the heat and let stand covered for some time.

Tips:

  • You could store the roasted coconut with the masala in the refrigerator for a month, make sure to store in an air tight container or ziplock bags.
  • If you have a clay pot, make this curry in that for better taste.
  • Leftover curry can be stored in the refrigerator, this curry will taste better the next day.

 

Fish in Roasted Coconut Gravy - Kerala Style
Author: 
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
 
Ingredients
For making gravy
  • Fish, cut into cubes- 8 cubes ( King fish, pomfret- I used sardines)
  • Drumsticks cut- 3 (or use eggplants or tomatoes, cubed)
  • Tamarind, fresh- 2 inch slice, soaked in 3 tbsp warm water
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Green chilies, split lengthwise- 2
For roasting coconut
  • Coconut oil or vegetable oil- 2 tbsp
  • Coconut, grated- 2 cups
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Small onions or pearl onions- 5
  • Chili powder- 1½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ⅛ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1½ tsp
  • Fennel powder- 1 tsp (optional)
  • Ground pepper- ½ tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Water- 1½ cups while grinding+ more to thin down the gravy
Instructions
  1. Clean the fish, remove the scales and internal organs, cut into 2 inch pieces and keep aside.
  2. You could use king fish or pomfret, I used sardines.
  3. You could use bone in or boneless fish for making this curry. I prefer bone in fish as it tastes better.
  4. If you can get hold of drumsticks which is available in some of the Indian and Asian stores use that, else use diced eggplants (10 cubes) or 2 tomatoes.
  5. Cut the drumsticks into 3 inch slices.
  6. In a large pan, put the fish, drumsticks or eggplant together, add green chilies and curry leaves, keep aside.
  7. In a small bowl, soak tamarind in 3 tbsp warm water for 3 minutes.
  8. Squeeze the soaked tamarind in water and drain the juice after discarding the seeds or any any fiber, keep 2½ tbsp of juice aside.
Roasting coconut
  1. Heat a large skillet or non stick pan over medium heat, add oil.
  2. Add coconut, small onions and curry leaves, stir fry the coconut till it turns golden brown in color.
  3. Keep stirring for even roasting and to avoid it from burning.
  4. When the coconut has roasted well, add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, ground pepper and salt.
  5. Combine everything well and saute for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let cool down.
  7. In a blender, grind the roasted coconut along with 1½ cups of water
  8. to a smooth paste.
  9. If the mixture is too thick add some more water while grinding.
  10. After it turns into a smooth paste, pour the ground paste into the pan containing the fish and drumsticks.
  11. Add ½ cup more water to thin down the paste.
  12. Add 2½ tbsp thick tamarind juice to the gravy and combine well.
  13. Cook the fish along with the roasted coconut gravy, keep the pan covered with its lid- 7 minutes.
  14. When the gravy comes to a boil, open the lid slightly and let cook for 2 minutes.
  15. Don't over cook the fish or stir the fish too much as it will start to fall apart.
  16. Lower the heat and cook for 2 minutes.
  17. If the gravy is too thick, add some water to thin it down and heat.
  18. Taste the gravy and adjust salt according to your needs.
  19. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for some time.
Notes
•You could store the roasted coconut with the masala in the refrigerator for a month, make sure to store in an air tight container or ziplock bags.
•If you have a clay pot, make this curry in it for a better taste.
•Leftover curry can be stored in the refrigerator, this curry will taste better the next day.

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