I was very curious to understand what the word Mollee meant. I googled for it, and most of the websites/blogs claim that Mole is Spanish for stew and Mollee is the "Manglicised" version of this word. I'd like to believe that because it is a very Indian thing to extend the e's (like Shoppee). I guess this was the barter system of those days - they took our spices and taught us how to cook their dishes (albeit for them).
Here is how I made the fish mollee this time.
- Fish (any variety, but try not to make it with the extremely small ones like Anchovy or Sardines) - cleaned and cut - 10 pieces
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Chilly Powder - 1/2 tsp
- Pepper Powder - 2 tsp for marinating and 1 tsp for the gravy
- Salt - to taste
- Coconut oil - 4 tbsp
- Curry Leaves - 3-4 sprigs
- Small Onion/Shallots - 15-20 sliced fine
- Green Chilly - 5 slit lengthwise
- Tomato - 1 cut into round pieces
- Ginger - 2 inch piece finely chopped
- Garlic - 10 cloves slit lengthwise
- Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
- Thin Coconut Milk - 2 cups
- Thick Coconut Milk - 1-2 cups (depending on how thick it is - I used one big pack of Maggi coconut powder and dissolved it in 200 ml water.)
- Marinate the fish with salt, turmeric powder, chilly powder and pepper powder and set aside for 1-2 hours.
- Heat 3 tbsp coconut oil and fry them till they are cooked (this is only to avoid the fish from crumbling while cooking - hence you do not have to deep fry it)
- Remove the fish from the pan. Discard the remaining oil. I wouldn't recommend you to use that for making the gravy as it has a weird smell.
- In another pan, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add curry leaves, ginger, garlic, green chillies and onions and fry till they are done.
- Add the tomato and thin coconut milk. Add salt to taste.
- Add the fried fish pieces and bring to boil. Cook till the fish is done.
- Add 1 tsp garam masala powder (I wouldn't recommend Everest or MDH or Badshah - these taste best when you use them for north indian cooking - You could use Sakthi or Aachi or any south indian brand for this dish. If you have Eastern Curry powder or Chicken Masala, you could add that - it enhances the taste of the dish.
- Mix well and ensure that the fish pieces do not crumble.
- Add 1 tsp pepper powder.
- Add the thick coconut milk and bring to boil till the gravy reaches the required consistency.
- Serve hot with Appam or Idiappam.