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 ( Kingfish, pomfret- I’ve added sardines)
  • Drumsticks-Moringa cut into 3-inch slices- 3 (or use eggplants or tomatoes, cubed)
  • Tamarind, fresh- 2-inch slice, soaked in 1/2 cup 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 (or use 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder + 1 tsp regular chili powder)
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 2 tsp
  • Ground pepper- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- 1 1/2 tsp
  • 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, keep aside.
  • Add king fish or pomfret, I’ve added 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-Moringa, available at 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 1/2 cup warm water for 5 minutes.
  • Squeeze the soaked tamarind in water, strain the juice & discard the seeds or any any fiber.

Roasting coconut:

  • Place a large skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat, add oil.
  • Add coconut, small onions, and curry leaves, stir fry till coconut 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, ground pepper, and salt.
  • Combine everything well, saute for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, 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 with the fish and drumsticks-Moringa.
  • Add 1/2 cup more water to thin down the paste.
  • Add the tamarind extract to the gravy, combine well.
  • Add salt, combine well.
  • Cook the fish along with the roasted coconut gravy, keep the pan covered with a lid- for 7 minutes.
  • When the gravy comes to a slight boil, open the lid slightly and let cook for 2 minutes.
  • Don’t overcook 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 cook further.
  • Taste the gravy, adjust the salt according to your needs.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, keep it covered for 30 minutes.

Tips:

  • You could store the roasted coconut with the masala in the refrigerator for a month, make sure to store it 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
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 people
Ingredients
For making gravy
  • Fish, cut into cubes- 8 cubes ( King fish, pomfret- I've added sardines)
  • Drumsticks-Moringa, cut into 3-inch slice- 3 (or use eggplants or tomatoes, cubed)
  • Tamarind, fresh- 2-inch slice, soaked in ½ cup 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 (or use ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder + 1 tsp regular chili powder)
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 2 tsp
  • Ground pepper- ½ tsp
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
  • 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, keep aside.
  2. You can use king fish or pomfret, I've added sardines.
  3. 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-Moringa, available at Indian and Asian stores use that, else use diced eggplants (10 cubes) or 2 tomatoes.
  5. Cut the drumsticks into 3 inch slices.
  6. Into a large pan, add the fish, drumsticks, or eggplant together, add green chilies and curry leaves, keep aside.
  7. In a small bowl, soak tamarind in ½ cup warm water for 5 minutes.
  8. Squeeze the soaked tamarind in water, strain the juice & discard the seeds or any any fiber.
Roasting coconut
  1. Place a large skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat, add oil.
  2. Add coconut, small onions, and curry leaves, stir fry till coconut 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, ground pepper, and salt.
  5. Combine everything well, saute for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool down.
  7. In a blender, grind the roasted coconut along with 1½ cups of water to a smooth paste.
  8. If the mixture is too thick add some more water while grinding.
Cooking the fish curry
  1. After it turns into a smooth paste, pour the ground paste into the pan with the fish and drumsticks-Moringa.
  2. Add ½ cup more water to thin down the paste.
  3. Add the tamarind extract to the gravy, combine well.
  4. Add salt, combine well.
  5. Cook the fish along with the roasted coconut gravy, keep the pan covered with a lid- for 7 minutes.
  6. When the gravy comes to a slight boil, open the lid slightly and let cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Don't overcook the fish or stir the fish too much as it will start to fall apart.
  8. Lower the heat and cook for 2 minutes.
  9. If the gravy is too thick, add some water to thin it down and cook further.
  10. Taste the gravy, adjust the salt according to your needs.
  11. Remove the pan from the heat, keep it covered for 30 minutes.
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.