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It is actually a fruit that grows in moist forests. It has a distinct sour taste that enhances the flavor of curries. This is how the ripe fruit looks like apparently:
So the last time someone went to Kerala, I tasked them with bringing me some. Then the usual procrastination that so aptly describes me happened and these shriveled black puli pieces were left untouched for over a year.
Last week was a Seafood overdose at home. So I used this opportunity to make fish curry this style.
- Fish (Sear/Pomfret) - 10 pieces
- Kodumpuli - 2 pieces (soaked in warm water)
- Shallots - 15-20, thinly sliced (do not substitute)
- Green Chillies - 2 slit lengthwise
- Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
- Red Chilly powder - 1+2 tsp (for marinating and the curry)
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4+1/4 tsp (for marinating and the curry)
- Corriander Powder - 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
- Fenugreek Seeds - 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves - 2-3 sprigs
- Ginger - 2 inch piece finely chopped
- Garlic - 5 cloves finely chopped
- Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
- Thin Coconut milk - 2 cups
- Thick Coconut milk - 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- Marinate the fish with salt, 1 tsp chilly powder and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and set aside for 2 hours.
- Soak kodumpuli in 4 tbsp warm water for 1 hour.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan.
- Splutter mustard seeds.
- Splutter fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
- Add chopped shallots and green chilly and fry well.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.
- Add the chopped ginger and garlic pieces.
- Add the chilly powder, turmeric powder, corriander powder and salt and fry well.
- Add the kodumpuli, fish pieces and thin coconut milk and cook till the fish is done.
- When the fish is fully cooked, add the thick coconut milk and allow it to boil.
- Remove and serve hot with rice.
Note: Usually, fish curry is made in a traditional earthenware called "Meen Chatti". I've not seen people use the spoon once the fish is added for fear of breaking them. They usually hold on to the sides of the pan and twirl it around twice or thrice for the curry to mix well. Fish curry in the Meen Chatti can be kept for days together and infact it increases its taste with each passing day.