Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fish Curry - Central Kerala Style



Everyday around 11.00-11.30am my phone rings and without the help of a Caller ID, I know for certain that it’s from CJJ, calling in to see,"What’s for lunch, today?" and if the menu includes Fish curry, I hear him chuckling coz that’s his favourite dish :) Fish curry with 'Kudam-puli' (Gamboge is the English word for Kudam-puli, I guess) is a staple in our home and I'm sure it’s same with many households in Kerala. I remember those days, when we were kids, my mother waiting for the fish vendor, who comes on a bi-cycle everyday, and the series of bargaining that follows; it’s to be noted here that the same guy comes riding a Hero Honda these days!!! Ever since I started preparing this dish, I have been trying to reproduce my mother’s recipe, but honestly, I've never been able to reach anywhere near her version! Wonder what’s her secret ingredient, is it mama’s love?? Guess all of us know the answer!

Ingredients:
  • 6-7 slices of cleaned fish
  • 6-8 small onions
  • 4 green chilies
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2-3 pieces of kudam-puli (Gamboge)
  • 2 tsp red chilly powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 cups thin coconut milk
  • ¼ cup thick coconut milk
  • 2 –3 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions:

1. Heat oil and sauté finely sliced small onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies and some curry leaves and when it is transparent, add turmeric powder and red chilly powder and combine well. At this stage add 2 cups thin coconut milk (or sufficient enough to cover all the slices of fish) and pieces of kudam-puli and salt and let it boil. When it is boiling, check the level of sourness and adjust the same by adding/removing one or two pieces of kudam-puli.

2. Place fish pieces to this and cover with a lid and allow it to cook in medium heat; swirl the cooking vessel once in a while; avoid stirring as you may end up breaking the fish pieces.

3. When it is almost done, add the thick coconut milk and adjust the salt and let it cook in a low flame, without the lid, for 5-10 minutes until a thin coating of oil appears on top; Just 2 minutes before turning off the stove add some curry leaves. Serve with rice or tapioca and hey, don’t forget to add that secret ingredient :)

Note:
Fish curry is generally prepared in a 'curry chatti', an earthenware in Kerala and it tastes better compared to the ones prepared in a non-stick pan. The oil coating that appears on the dish at the final stage mainly depends on a fatty fish and the coconut milk extracted from freshly grated coconut. Please do not substitute small onions with big onion as it definitely alters the taste and a generous use of curry leaves is suggested as the dish gains a fresh irresistible aroma when it is added just before switching off the stove. Also the taste will not be the same if kudam-puli is replaced with the tamarind used in Sambar and Rasam.




UPDATE: Kudam puli or Gamboge, is actually a fresh orange-yellowish fruit in its initial stage, which is dried in sun and transformed into black, and later used to add sourness to dishes, in South India and in some part of Sri Lanka too, I guess. The sourness it brings to the fish curry compared to the ordinary tamarind is lot different and unique too. You can find it in most of the Indian stores if you are staying outside India. If the store bought ones are too dry, soak them in water before you start preparing the dish and when it is moist, add it to the dish along with the water. If using the ones prepared at home (like the ones in the pics) then one is enough to get the sourness. Hope this helps!


Luv
Shn
No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 Kitchenmishmash.blogspot.com. All rights reserved.

63 comments:

Asha said...

Hi Shn.Thanks for visiting me.You do have a very nice blog although it's almost new!:))
I love the Beet Wine,one of my fav. veg and I love the photography.Glad you found me.Fish curry looks fabulous!:)

Nidhi said...

Hey Shn,

Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and appreciating my work. BTW, how did you came to know about my blog??

I would also like to welcome you to the world of food blogging.... You have a beautiful blog out here and thruoght the pictures, I can make out that you are very creative.

Never mind that you couldn't vote for me, but just pray for me that they give me a chance to show everyone my talent :D , once again!

Will keep visiting for more and I have added you to my blog roll as well.

Thanks, Nidhi.

Nidhi said...

One thing that I forgot to mention in my first comment is, fish cuury is looking very delicious, even though I don't eat sea food, but I am tempted to try some after looking at your creation. Cheers!

USHA said...

HI Shn,

That was really interesting really about fish vendors,....reciepe looks awesome...mouth watering...hmmm..

archana said...

Look at that photo !!!! Lovely !! I love this fish curry too. Welcome aboard Shn, have fun blogging.

Kiranz..!! said...

Shinu is claiming herself as a "puli" for Fish curry.I second it ..:) ( Jeevichu pokande)...

Conveyz her apology for the last post n' her trialz :).Check the comment @ deviled eggz..!

Gini said...

True, doesn't matter how hard you try the taste is not the same. I blame it on the fish:)

thush_m2000 said...

The fish curry looks yummy!
What fish did you use ?

Gattina said...

Love your food styling, so beauitful! I love fish curry too!

Maheswari said...

Fish curry..no words to express..pic. looks great and tells it all.I am drooling over here and don't have any fish in the fridge..:(((Will go out buy and try it this weekend itself.Really this is just great for a newbie like you..hoping to see more n more of your delicious post here...Thanks for sharing.

Jyothsna said...

Fish curry looks tempting! Good recipe!!

Mishmash ! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mishmash ! said...

Asha,Thanks a looooot :)So, why dont u try beet wine, I hope u like it.You cant imagine how happy I was to see ur message :)

Nidhi, Everyone knows the celebrity but celebrities need not know them :) so that answers ur first question ;)Nidhi, Thanks for blogrolling me, U were the first to add me and girl, u made my day :)You can try out my other recipes and keep coming back.

Usha, Thanks a lot...:)

Archana, how do I express all that excitement when I saw ur message !!!! Thanks for dropping by and I hope u come back again :)

Kiranz, now u owe me one lunch.njan oru 'poocha' maathram, njanum jeevichu pokkotte :) Pakshe ente lunch-nte karyam marakkanda ketto :)

Gini, why just blame the fish alone, I blame it on the canned coconut milk too ;))

Thush, Thanks :) I used spanish mackerel but u may try with seer fish, pomfret, king fish etc.

Gattina, Thanks so much. Look who's talking about food styling here!!!!I really appreciate that :)

Maheswari, You know what's really great for a newbie like me ?? All these comments and words of appreciation and encouragement from food bloggers like u !!!!Do try and out and let me know for sure.Thanks for coming back again. I will try to share more recipes, not matter if its delicious or not :)

Jyothsna, Thanks a lot :) Pls do go ahead and try it and let me know

Luv
Shn

Sia's corner said...

hi shn... came to ur blog from coffee's. just love the way u have presented food. i love that kadai of urs.
welcome to the world of food blogging dear:)

RP said...

That looks heavenly! Everything you said about the fish curry is very true.

jacob said...

that looks great. i have a 'chatti' too! and the beet wine looks good too.

KitchenFairy said...

Thanka a lot for visiting my blog .Your blog is nice,presentation excellent.When i read ur experience,its almost similar, what happend in our place also...

KitchenFairy said...

No wounder mishmash,Its mama's love only.......Don't worry your kids will find that taste from your curry..

sailaja said...

Beautiful presentation of an authentic Kerala dish. Awesome pictures, Shn.

Welcome to the food blogging world and hope you have fun blogging..:)

mathew said...

food blogs makes me hungry and homesick!!! esp when u are staying away from home!!

Lisa said...

Hi shn
Thanks for visiting my blog...
Love the pictures of fish curry. They look delicious.

VIDYA said...

whoa!!!! kodiavanu!!!!!

awesum pictures.

:-)

Mishmash ! said...

Sia,Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you come back again! Hmm...the kadai , that was my cousin's gift :)

RP, Thank you :)

Jacob, thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you try this out soon since u have the 'chatti' :)

Kitchenfairy, thanks for your sweet comments. Yeah, I wish your words come true :)

Sailaja, Thanks! Yes, I'm having lotta fun :)

Mathew,I understand ur situation as I've stayed away from home. Thanks for visiting. I enjoyed reading ur blog.

Lisa & Vidya, Thanks so much! Pls do visist again:)

Mallugirl said...

oh wow. can i come over?psst. i have the same chatti.u are right, shallots cannot be replaced by onions.

Sri said...

Meen curry looks perfect...beautiful color.

ash said...

Will get back to you soon after I try the shortbread! :) hey, if you have the habit of collecting cream, let me know...will suggest a very easy tea-cake using cream.

Anonymous said...

Hi! this is Rg. I'm new to your blog. BTW, your fish curry, looks good and sounds yummy too. What kind of fish did you use?

Thanks.
Rg.

thush_m2000 said...

This recipe is a keeper!
I made it this evening and it came out very well.I used Salmon steaks( didnt have much of a choice at the grocery). To reduce the heat a bit- i added 2 green chillies instead of four. Also added 1tsp of chilli powder and mixed 1 tsp of Paprika to it for color.Thanks Shn for the recipe.

Mishmash ! said...

Mallugirl, you re always welcome at our place :)

Sri, Thank You and Welcome to my blog :)

Ash, Thanks for sharing that recipe, I 'm yetto try it :)

Rg,Welcome to my blog :) I used spanish mackerel; You may try with any fish of ur choice.

Thush, I'm so glad that you liked it. It's always nice to get positive feedback. Good that you made some changes to suit your palette.Hope you will come back for more recipes :)

luv
Shn

Ana said...

Hello,

What is kodum puli ? where can I get it ? Delicous looking curry love to try it....Ana

Aishwarya said...

Hi, Fish curry looks lovely.... Can u please post a picture of kudam puli ?? I have never seen it...And would be very helpful for ppl like me.
Thx Aishwarya

Mishmash ! said...

Hi Ana & Aishwarya, Thank you for your comment and a warm welcome to my blog. Well, Kudam puli or Gamboge is actually a fresh orange-yellowish fruit in its initial stage which is dried in sun and transformed into black and later used to add sourness to dishes, in South India and in some part of Sri lanka too, I guess. The sourness it brings to the fish curry compared to the ordinary tamarind is lot different and unique too. You can find it in most of the Indian stores if you are staying outside India. And in both my pictures you can see Kudam-puli/Gamboge in black colour and if you want a more closer looks, pls visit this page:
http://myinjimanga.blogspot.com/2006/04/guess-spice-kudampuli.html

Shn

Sig said...

Hey Shn,I know I am late here, but I have to comment on this wonderful fish curry. It just hurts me too look at that picture, the fish curry looks so great, I need some right away :(. How did you get it so red?

Mishmash ! said...

Sig, U re never late to Mishmash! :) Pls help urself I have already served one plate for u :) I dont know how I got that colour, I use ordinary chilly powder, my MIL uses something called "piriyan mulaku" which gives colour and I think thats something like paprika. I have never tried both ;U may try with 1/2tsp paprika it might work:)

Shn

Anonymous said...

Hi, your recipes look yummy... want to take a copy... but unable to copy and paste onto a word file. It will be nice to do that... Please post different kinds of Kerala foods - non veg, veggies... Thanks once again...

Anonymous said...

Hi, i live in NJ. Can you put a picture of a pkt. & also the exact look of the Kodam puli? And how long to soak it? Is it like tamarind? Use the tamarind pulp - like that use the pulp from the kodam puli?

what fish do you use here in the fish curry recipe and the fish fry?

Thanks....

Anonymous said...

Hi Shn, great stuff here... How did you get this 'chatti'? From where? Great recipes... Keep up. Wish i could copy and keep a word file to check on it when i cook or don't have the internet connection. I am lazy to register and hence anonymous. I am from NJ.

Bijoy John said...

Hi..nice blog..and I miss home soooooooooooooo bad..!

Rachel said...

Great writing and good photgraphy.. for people like me who are in a fix when it comes to cooking for every meal...this was much awaited..

Anonymous said...

Tried out ur Fish curry - Central Kerala Style..... it came out very well... as it is the first time I m making with seer fish. Thanks for ur recipe...which takes back me to the recipe style of my mother.

Sreeja.

Dipu said...

cool - just tried this recipe and *almost* came close to my mummy's preparation ;-)

Chennette said...

Hi - I am going to try this recipe later as I bought some fish slices to try a new recipe :-) And this is the one that sounds enticing. I don't have gamboge, and would have to resort to tamarind for the sourness, although in Trinidad and in Guyana, they use green mangoes of varying sourness to get that sour contrast to fish curries. I don't have any of that on hand though :-)
Lovely photos and food. I look forward to visiting again.

Chennette said...

I made it - although substituting tamarind made it taste a bit more Thai...but delicious anyway :-D
Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chennette/tags/kitchenmishmash/

Mishmash ! said...

Dipu, thanks a lot for the feedback....quite happy to know that it turned out well for you :)

Chennette, I am pretty happy to get such a quick response from you...and thanks a bunch for leaving that picture link, a great gift on New Year's day....it looks absolutely authentic....yeah...tamarind paste will not achieve the taste gamboge gives....if you re trying next time, use green mangoes slices for the sourness , in Kerala we use that in fish curry for the sourness....so give it a try....it will be more tasty :) Anyway thanks a lot for this feedback :)

Shn

Chennette said...

Yes, in Trinidad (where I am from) and Guyana (where I live) we use green mango in our fish curry - Guyana uses sourer mango than us Trinis - but I didn't have any of that and I wanted to make it. I should have added some lime or something instead.
You're welcome for the feedback - it's always great when you know people are using your recipes and enjoying your blog - thanks for visiting!

Sanhita said...

This fish curry looks great. Have to try it out.

Betsy said...

Hi! I stumbled across your webpage while looking for a Kerala recipe for ayala (got some Indian Mackerel from the Chinese market!). I must say I am very intrigued and impressed with what little I have seen so far, and I look forward to reading more on your site. Thank you for doing this for us Mallus out here in the US!

Betsy Papaly

lemonytree said...

wonderful spicy fish curry!!! A small point about the "Curry Chatti", another reason the chatti adds to the taste is cause the mud absorbs the excess water making the curry a perfect blend of spices...tangy and spicy!!!

Indira said...

Love love love this blog! The recipes and photos are amazing. My parents are from Kerala love reading about all the dishes.

Nileena said...

Excellent.....I always wanted to make this curry, but it never came out well......thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful dish !!!
Neeharika

Resh said...

hey shn, i tried this fish curry today.. ...its delicious....thanks a lot for the wonderful recipe

Luv
Resh

Anonymous said...

Hey Shn,

This was the first time i tried fish n this turnd out to be yummy!! cant tell ya what a blessing ur blog is for someone who is miles away frm home..take care you rock! Smita( hey i also tried ur manga curry, the one with curd..was simply yum! :)

Dr Shivani Sud Thakur said...

hi nice blog is gamboge kokum??

Mishmash ! said...

Shivani, Kokum is different.

Dr Shivani Sud Thakur said...

hi thx for the reply wht is it then? any local name??

Dr Shivani Sud Thakur said...

your blog has the greatest pics i think superb food presentation styles!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi "Mishmash". Like you, I live in the US. I am not Indian but I could very well be because I absolutely love the country and its multitude of cultures, particularly in the South, which I visited many times.

That being said, your blog -- an interesting window on your particular culture -- remains, shall I say, a bit ajar and not open onto that culture because of the requirement to gain approval before anything can be copied; i.e., reproduced. I do believe that enabling people who are genuinely interested in the local culture to copy recipes would actually serve to widen the window.

Keep up the good work. I will keep reading.

jacob c said...

made the curry last night... not quite as good as momma's curry (that's just me and not the recipe)... it definitely tastes better the next day.

chits said...

Hi Mishmash..
love your recipies and pics and presentation...Bloggers like u are really helpful.I just tried out the kuttanadan style chicken and its excellent and now trying out fish curry -central kerala style.Thankyou

Anonymous said...

I am a great fan of yours...

Res said...

Hey Mishmash,
Thanks for your wonderful blog.It is very useful for people like me. We made our Christmas feast based on your recipes. Thanks a lot again..I am going to make Fish curry today...Wish me the best..:)

sara said...

heyyyyyy jus learned about ur site lately from a friend of mine,this is jus brilliant!!!!!!!well done u and thanks a lot..

Res said...

Hey Mishmash,

Thanks for helping people like me in preparing good food..I recommended ur name to all my friends here.