Seafood is an important part of the Indian non vegetarian diet, especially along the coastal regions. The lush and tropical state of Kerala is famous for its delicious seafood dishes. Located on the southwest Indian coast, Kerala's famous Malabar coastline provides an abundant harvest of fresh fish and shellfish.
The cuisine of Kerala is influenced by its wealth of aromatic spices and year round availability of fresh coconuts. Malabar Fish Curry (Kerala Meen Molee) is a wonderful example of traditional Kerala cuisine at its finest; succulent fresh fish gently simmered in a spicy coconut curry and served with fragrant rice is a simple yet wonderfully delicious meal.
MALABAR FISH CURRY
1-1.5 lbs of firm white fish fillets (cod, tilapia, swordfish, bass, haddock, snapper or halibut)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 small green Thai chilies
10-12 fresh curry leaves
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masla
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can coconut milk (can use the light variety)
4 tbsp oil (veg or canola)
1 cup water, as needed
fresh chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground cumin, garam masala, red chili powder, tumeric, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Cut the fish into 2 inch pieces and marinate with the dry spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp of the oil on medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes until they soften and slightly brown, add the ginger and garlic. Stir fry for an additional few minutes and then add the marinated fish pieces. Let the fish lightly brown on all sides and add the water. Add any remaining spices from the dry marinade and the coconut milk, cover and gently simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes. Stir gently so as to not break the fish into smaller pieces.
In a separate sauce pan on medium high heat, add the oil. When it is just barely smoking, very carefully add the black mustard seeds. These tend to splatter, so be careful. Reduce the heat to low and add the green chilies and curry leaves. After 30 seconds, remove from the heat and pour over your fish curry. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve with fragrant Basmati rice or hot chapathis.
Indian Parsis are an extremely close knit community, they are the direct descendants of Persian Zoroastrians who fled Iran thousands of years ago to escape religious persecution. They have since settled in India and made it their home. Parsi cuisine is a wonderful and rich blend of both Persian and Indian cuisines, cooking styles and methods. Parsi dishes are famous for their unique combinations of bold flavors.
PARSI FISH CURRY
1 lb of firm white fish fillets (cod, tilapia, swordfish, bass, haddock, snapper or halibut)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 small green Thai chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil (veg or canola)
1 tbsp tamarind pulp (or 1 tsp tam powder)
juice of 1 lime (fresh)
water as needed
freshly grated coconut and freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Cut the fish into 2 inch pieces and marinate with salt, pepper, turmeric and the juice of 1/2 a lime. Set aside and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
In a large skillet on medium high heat, add the onions and stir fry until golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger and green chillies. Stir fry for an additional 2-3 minutes and add the spices (ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cardamom, and ground cinnamon). Stir fry for 1-2 minutes and the add the tomatoes and tamarind. Add the water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the fish pieces and simmer gently uncovered on low heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the rest of the lime juice, garnish and serve with fragrant Basmati rice and fresh rotis.