1. Unakka meen / dried fish – 100 g
2. Ethakka / raw plantain – 1, medium – sized
Shallots – 4, sliced (optional)
Green chillies – 2 – 3, slit
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cocums / kudam puli – 2 (Soak in warm water for 5 – 10 minutes and tear to small pieces)
3. Grated coconut – 1.5 cup
Shallots – 3
4. Salt – As required
Curry leaves – 3 – 4
5. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
1. Soak the unnakka meen in water for about 15 – 20 minutes. Clean and cut into pieces. If it is very salty put some newspaper sheets in the water to absorb excess salt.
2. Peel and cut the plantain lengthwise (like how you would, for aviyal) into a vessel with water, turmeric powder and little salt. Drain the water before cooking.
3. Grind the grated coconut with 3 shallots and little water to a fine paste.
4. In a clay pot or meen chatti, combine the dried fish with ingredients numbered 2. Pour about 2 cups of water and cook covered until they are 3/4th done, at medium heat. Bring down the heat and add ground coconut paste. Mix well and taste check for salt. Take care not to break the plantain and fish pieces. You can add a little hot water if the gravy is very thick. Cover and cook until done, for about 4 – 5 minutes. Open the lid. Add a tbsp of coconut oil and a few curry leaves. Keep aside for 15 mts. Mix well and serve with hot rice.
1. You can use raw mango instead of kudam puli.
2. Dried fish can be replaced with dry prawns ( unakka chemmeen).
3. To make unnakka meen curry, avoid using ethakka /raw banana and follow the same method.