Ahoy, seafood lovers and spice seekers! Today, we’re setting sail on a culinary escape to Alappuzha, where the fish curries are legendary. Get ready to dive into the world of Alappuzha’s fishy delights; the only thing deeper than the backwaters is the flavour in every bite.
Alappuzha, known for its dreamy backwaters and laid-back vibes, also boasts a fish curry game so strong it could make a catfish blush.
First up, we’ve got the Karimeen, the VIP (Very Important Fish) of Alappuzha. This pearl spot wonder takes centre stage in dishes like Karimeen Pollichathu, which is wrapped up in banana leaves and grilled to perfection. Karimeen fish is usually cooked on houseboats, a riverside café. So do you know how to prepare this at home? Here’s what you need.
- 4 pearl spot fishes
- 6 cloves chopped of garlic
- 2 Large chopped Onions
- 3 Chopped Green Chilli
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- Salt as required
- 4 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1 inch chopped ginger
- 2 large chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Kashmiri red chilli
- 6 Curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 tablespoons Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
- Marinate the fish with turmeric, lime juice, Kashmiri red chilli powder, black pepper, and salt for 10 minutes. Heat coconut oil in a pan at medium heat, and then add ginger, onion, garlic, curry leaves, tomatoes, and green chillies.
- Step 2: Add vinegar, Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric, black pepper, and salt to the pan and mix nicely. Take another pan and fry the karimeen fish on both sides for 2 minutes each. Keep aside.
- Wrap your karimeen fish in a banana leaf, pour the fried masala mix on one side, and top it off with the marinade that was made in Step 1. Ensure all fish pieces, or the whole fish, are wrapped in banana leaves.
- In hot coconut oil over a tawa at medium heat, cook the banana-leaf-wrapped fish packets on both sides for about 10 minutes each. Once you smell the spices and watch the fish leak through the packet in perfect harmony, it’s ready to serve.
- Open the packet and serve your karimeen pollichathu with lime juice and onions.
If a coconut could write a memoir, Alappuzha would be a whole chapter. Coconut milk, grated coconut, coconut oil- it’s a coconut extravaganza! No wonder the curries are so smooth; they’ve got coconut charisma. Also, fresh mango pieces add a subtle yet delicious hint of sourness to the fish curry.
- ½ kg fish
- 1 raw mango
- 12 shallots
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tomato
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- coconut oil as required
- mustard seeds
- curry leaves
- coconut milk extracted from half coconut.
- Heat coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds.
- Add the shallots, ginger, green chillies, and curry leaves, sauté well,
- Now add the turmeric and Kashmiri chilli powder and sauté until the raw smell is gone,
- Into it, add the tomato pieces and mix it well,
- Add the coconut milk (extracted by adding 2 cups warm water) and salt as required,
- When the gravy begins to boil, add the raw mango pieces and fish fillets, cook with the lid on,
- Garnish with curry leaves after the fish pieces have cooked well.
Alappuzha fish curries aren’t shy when it comes to spices. It’s like a masala party in your mouth, with coriander, turmeric, cumin and chilli throwing shapes on the dance floor. It’s so lively you might catch your taste buds doing the salsa. Here is the recipe of Meen Mulakittathu:
- 250g fish
- 1 onion chopped
- 1inch ginger chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 11/2 tsp coriander powder
- 3tsp red chilli powder
- 1tsp turmeric powder
- 1 green chilly slit
- Kokum star soaked in salt water
- 3tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2tsp mustard seeds
- Curry leaves a few strands
- Salt as required
- Take a pot and pour oil
- Once the oil is hot enough, add the mustard seeds and leave it to crackle.
- Add green chilly, garlic and chopped onion to the oil
- Sauté till golden in colour
- Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli to it and sauté well.
- Add water along with Kudampulli to the mixture and boil
- When boiling starts, add the fish pieces to it
- Add a few curry leaves and leave it to cook with the vessel closed
- Remove the top and check whether the fish is cooked after 15 minutes
- Make sure that salt is perfect in the dish. Cook till done and remove from fire.
If the dish is too watery, allow water to evaporate so the fish curry is thick and tasty.
- Add a few more curry leaves along with 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Delicious tangy-flavoured fish curry is ready and is all set to serve. Tangy-flavoured fish curry serves great with tapioca.
As we wrap up our fish adventure through Alappuzha’s curry wonderland, remember that life is too short for bland food. Whether you’re a spice warrior or a seafood enthusiast, these fish curries from Alappuzha are here to make your taste buds do the happy dance.
So, grab a fork, set sail for flavour and let the fish feast begin!
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