Here’s my recipe for Kerala style Fish curry using coconut milk. The hallmark of the kerala fish curry is the tangy or sour taste which it gets from either Kodampuli (kokum) or from green (raw) mangoes. In my video I have used raw mangoes but you can use the same recipe for making Fish curry using Kodampuli. Kodampuli (Kokum) as I have explained in my glossary on this site, is a very special kind of fruit that to the best of my knowledge is available only in the west coast of India, mainly in Kerala. Fish curry using Kodampuli is just the best and my husband will relish it even if I serve this to him for every single meal!
I learnt to make this fish curry from my amma. Amma used to use fresh coconut milk from freshly grated coconut. When I moved to the US, for a couple of years we used to get fresh coconut from the grocers and then make fresh coconut milk. But then occasionally the coconut used to turn out be foul smelling. And then you were left with no option for making coconut milk. So I was overjoyed when the Indian grocers started carrying fresh frozen grated coconut! So now I always have a stock of fresh frozen grated coconut(Daily Delight brand is what I use – sorry nothing else is as good!) in my freezer. That way I can always make a great batch of fresh coconut milk for this fish curry as well as for any of my other curries!
Watch the video :
- 10-12 1 inch thick pieces of King Fish(or King Mackerel)
- 3 cups coconut milk - canned or homemade (see below instructions for making home made coconut milk)
- ½ tsp thinly chopped ginger
- 3 small green chillies slit length-wise
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder (1 tsp for mild, 3 tsp for extra hot)
- 2 tsp of salt (or a little more as per taste)
- 1 cup of 1 inch cube raw/green mango pieces
- (or 3 small pieces of kodampuli/kokum)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped red onions or shallots
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 2 cups of fresh grated coconut or (frozen grated coconut that has been thawed)
- 2 cups plus 1 cup of warm water
- Take the 2 cups of fresh grated coconut (or thawed frozen grated coconut) and add to a blender along with 2 cups of warm water. Blend for about 1-2 minutes. Then strain using a large strainer directly into the pot with the fish. Next take the coconut from the strainer and again add to the blender with another 1 cup of warm water. Blend it again for about 1 minute and strain this milk into the pot so you will have approximately 3 cups of coconut milk.
- Take a medium size cooking pot (I use earthen pot since that’s what’s used traditionally in Kerala and this imparts a nice smoky flavor to the fish curry). But you could use any stainless steel or non stick pot. Add the cleaned pieces of fish into the pot(make sure to drain any water used for cleaning). Next add the green chillies and the ginger. then add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Next add the cut raw mangoes (or the kodampuli that has been soaked in a tbsp of water for 5-10 mins). And finally add the coconut milk .
- Place the pot on the stove on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes till you see the coconut milk bubbling. Immediately put the burner on low simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Cook covered for about 20 minutes swirling the pot gently every 5 minutes or so in order to prevent the fish from sticking to the pot. Next open the lid and let the curry simmer for about 2 minutes in the open until you get the gravy to a thick consistency.
- Finally take one tablespoon of coconut oil in a tadka pan and heat the oil for about 30 seconds. Then add the chopped onions and saute till golden brown. Add the curry leaves with its stem. Pour all the coconut oil and the onions and curry leaves into the fish pot. Your fish curry is ready. Enjoy with rice and pappadam.