Friday, November 19, 2010

Fish Mollee

Fish Moilee, Fish Mollee... however it is called is literally Fish Stew. It is prepared pretty much the same way as we prepare the vegetable stew or the mutton stew. Kerala is known for the seafood consumption and the abundance of coconut in its cuisine. So you can well imagine what would happen when the two come together exclusively for a dish!!!!

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).

Apparently Indian Mackeral (Ayila) is supposed to be the best one to go with Fish Molee, but you can make it with any fish. I made mine with Pomfret. It is the thick coconut milk and the mild spices that add the flavor to this. Lightly laced with pepper and made spicy with green chillies, the sweetness of the coconut milk acts as a balance, making this dish simply yummilicious! :)

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.
Note: If your gravy is too thin, it is probably because the coconut milk was not thick enough. You could add 1 tsp of cornflour to thicken the gravy if you like.

1 comment:

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