Yesterday when Rosly asked me for more fish recipes, the first recipe which went through my mind was Meen Pachacurry. This curry may be called by different names in different places in Kerala.
I remember the excitement I used to get when my family used to pack our bags for our long awaited summer holidays. It used to be a tiring trip. We lived in Gujarat and to reach Kerala by train, took almost 3 days and 2 nights and now with the introduction of the Konkan railway, this time has been cut short. I used to get up very early on the third day and wait for Palakkad to come. There was always a feeling of happiness as soon as I entered the starting point of Kerala state. I did not want to miss the coconut trees, the jackfruit trees, the mango trees, the paddy fields and so on. This land will never lose its beauty at least from my mind. It is picture perfect. I forget my worries whenever I remember this natural beauty. I have strayed away from my topic isn't it? That is me, a big day dreamer.
The story of my meen pachacurry originates from Ashtamudi, a place in Kollam district. This is the place where my mother grew up, the house is on the banks of Ashtamudi lake. I used to go and sit near the lake to watch the sunrise and sunset. Did you ever watch the night sky near to a lake? It is beautiful and if one is lucky, one can get a glimpse of a shooting star. At night you can hear the fisherman making sounds by hitting slowly on the boats to attract the fishes.
Early in the morning one can see the boats passing by with the fishermen chattering and gathering their nets. This brings in the fresh catch of fish especially Karimeen. It is a type of flat fish with black spots. When the fisher woman brought this to our door, I was sure that I would get meen pachacurry for lunch. I love that curry. Here is the recipe.
- 1 kg fish (karimeen or angel fish or any other flat fish)
- 1 cup Coconut shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh green mango pieces or 1/4 cup tamarind juice
- 5 green chillies
- 4 garlic flakes
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- few sprigs of curry leaves
- salt to taste
- little water
- 1 tblsp. oil
- 1/3 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- 2 whole dried red chillies
- Grind the grated coconut, green chillies, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and fenugreek seeds to a very fine paste. Keep it aside.
- In a pan, heat oil, splutter the mustard seeds and put in the shallots and dried red chillies and saute for 2 minutes or until the shallots have turned slightly brown.
- Add the mango pieces and 1/2 cup water along with salt or the tamarind juice and salt. When you add tamarind juice add water accordingly. Bring it to boil. Put in the fish pieces and cook until nearly done.
- Add the ground coconut paste and curry leaves and let it cook till done and the curry is of a thicker constituency.
- Serve it with hot white rice.