Sunday, May 3, 2015

Nadan Meen curry / Kerala style Fish curry

I am sure like us, most mallu's would have a special liking towards this fish curry. And it is one of the dishes that gets tastier as it ages. Yes, you heard me right. We cook it and reheat it everytime we are about to serve it for lunch or dinner, which helps the fish pieces to absorb the essence of the gravy and the tartness of the Cocum/Kocum and make it tastier. that is making me tempt. Other than having it with rice, I have always loved having it with Kappa (Tapioca/Yucca) before I got married. But my man loves the combination of Kappa with Beef curry. However, that has never made me sacrifice my craving for Kappa and fish curry combo, as fish curry is available at our home most of the days and that helps both of us to hog on our own respective favorite combos and feel content.

Today while I was making this curry, I thought about this post being in the draft for long. And what a coincidence that I had the same combo for lunch today- Rice, Moru Kachiyathu, Meen Curry and Avial :) . Anyways, here is the recipe to the meen curry that had been pending for so long in my drafts.

  1. 1 lbs of Fish, cleaned and cut into pieces
  2. 1 tsp of vinegar
  3. 1/2 tsp of fenugreek powder/seeds
  4. 1 tbsp of ground/grated ginger
  5. 1 tbsp of ground/grated garlic
  6. 4-5 shallots sliced
  7. 1 sprig of curry leaves
  8. 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
  9. 2 tbsp of Kashmiri chilly powder
  10. 1 tsp of chilly powder
  11. 2 pieces of Cocum/Kokum/Gambooge
  12. 1 cup of warm water
  13. 1/2 cup of water - enough for gravy
  14. 3-4 tbsp of oil - preferably coconut oil
  15. Salt to taste

  • In a bowl, soak the cocum in warm water for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile rinse the fish in a bowl of water, vinegar and a tbsp of salt. Drain off excess water and keep it aside.
  • Heat the oil. Once hot, put the fenugreek seeds/powder into it. Let it get lightly roasted. Do not burn it. It should just change its colour.
  • Now add the sliced shallots, grated ginger and garlic and curry leaves. Add the salt as required and saute it for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Once the onion gets tender, add the turmeric powder, chilly powder and Kashmiri chilly powder and keep stirring it for another minute. you would want to do it very carefully on medium low heat to prevent burning of the masala. 
  • Now pour in the Cocum and warm water to it. Also add in water as required for the gravy. Let it come to a boil. 
  • Taste it to see if the salt and the cocum is enough as per your need and adjust it if need be. 
  • Now drop in the fish pieces and let it cook. Keep swirling the pan when required instead of stirring it with a laddle. Remove it from the heat. 
  • They taste great when they sit for a while. So if you want to serve for dinner, make it by lunch and also keep reheating every time before you serve rather than refrigerating it. If at any point you feel the gravy is less, add in little water while reheating it.

  1. I used salmon to make Fish curry. You could use any other fish to make it. If you are using small fish like sardine which need not be cut into pieces, then make gashes on both sides of the fish. It helps the fish pieces to absorb the gravy well.
  2. Washing the fish in salt and vinegar/lemon juice mixture helps get rid of the fishy smell.
  3. Personally, I feel using fresh ginger and garlic adds more flavour to it rather than store bought ginger/garlic paste.
  4. If you feel that the tartness is enough for the curry, as per your need, then remove the Cocum/Kokum once you have done cooking the fish curry.
  5. I usually add more of Kashmiri chilly to get the red colour and a thicker gravy and lesser amount of chilly powder to keep it less hot. You could adjust the same as per your need.
  6. Its always preferable to make the fish curry in earthen pot. It enhances the taste. Also, we do usually keep reheating the curry rather than refrigerating it before we serve for each meal(i.e. reheating it at least twice a day). This enhances the taste to a greater extend and also prevents the curry from being spoiled, since we are not refrigerating it. If you too choose to do the same, the earthen pot is a better option rather than the usual pans/wok.
  7. Swirling the pan is better option when cooking fish curry rather than stirring it. Swirling prevents the fish pieces from breaking up.


  1. one of our favorite fish curry too,loved the cute bowl too...yummy!!

  2. oh look at the color!!! delicious...

  3. Ohfff vishakunnu ...nalla avial,morucurry pinee meen curry ahhaa ...kappa koodi ayaal ugrann...veruthee mohichu..:(

  4. Your fish curry looks similar to mine. Fish is the new favorite of my youngest one, he loves Salmon curry and now I try to make it every week :). Meen curry with some kappa will make me happy any time.

  5. Meen curry looks delicious, very nice.

  6. Tempting fish curry...delicious..

  7. Kothiyavunnae........ kappa kazhikkanum kothiyavunnu..... aa choru pathram kandittu athellam koodi vaari eduthu akathakkan thonnunnu..... :) super delicious post.......n super tempting one....!


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