Varutharacha Meen Curry
Slightly adapted from Sangeetha’s Kothiyavunu
- Fish – 1/2 kg (You can use salmon, tilapia, trout, halibut, king fish etc.)
- Drumsticks – 3 – 4, cut into 2.5” pieces and slit
- Tamarind – Lemon-sized or to taste (Tamarind can be replaced with raw mango pieces ( about 3-4 medium slices) or kudam puli (2-3 pieces). If you are using kudampuli, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes and tear into small pieces)
- Green Chillies – 2-3 , slit
- Water – 1.5 – 2 cups
- Salt – To taste
- Coconut oil – 2 tsp
- Mustards – 1/4 – 1/2 tsp
- Dry red chillies – 2
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
For Roasted Coconut Paste
- Grated Coconut – 1.5 cup
- Pearl onions – 5 – 7
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red Chilly Powder – 2 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
- Fenugreek Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
1. Clean and wash the fish pieces. Set aside. Soak the tamarind in warm water. Squeeze out the extract, strain and keep aside.
2. Roast the grated coconut with a few curry leaves until lightly browned. Add chopped onions and keep on stirring until the coconut turns brown. Switch off. Add the spice powders. Keep stirring for a few more seconds and set aside to cool. The whole process takes about 15 – 20 minutes at medium heat. Take care not to burn the coconut and spices. Grind into a fine paste adding about 1/4 cup water, in a mixer.
3. Pour the ground coconut mixture into a meen chatti/ kal chatti or any deep pan. Add drumstick pieces, green chillies, curry leaves, tamarind extract, salt along with 1.5 – 2 cups of water and mix well. Switch on the stove and allow to to boil.
4. Once the curry starts boiling, add the fish pieces. After adding the fish pieces swirl the clay pot to mix everything well. Cover with a lid and simmer it for about 15 minutes or until the gravy thickens and the fish is done. Remember to rotate the meen chatti or pan in between. Add a few curry leaves and remove from fire.
5. In a small pan, heat 2 tsp coconut oil. Splutter mustards and fry dry red chillies and a few curry leaves. Pour over the fish curry. Keep it covered for at least 15 minutes. Serve with rice / kappa puzhukku. It tastes better the next day. Enjoy!!