Meen Vevichathu - Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry

Its raining cats and dogs in my part of the world!!! I m thinking of an authentic mallu delight    Kudampuliyitta Meen vevichathu aka  Hot and Spicy Kottayam style Red fish curry to warm up my senses. I think i need to rewrite the lines of JD's "You fill up my senses".

In picture:- Rice, Meen vevichathu, Cherupayar Mezhukkupuratty

Innu enna meen kitti? (what fish you got today?Wasn't that the regular chatter from our homes while growing up from one house to another to another and on and on....

It was like the first thing you ask when you see your neighbor, instead of how are you or whats up?I talk to my mom and Mother in law every morning and again even i ask them the same thing u know , innu enna meen kitti ? A day without more of a Changancherry style fish curry in my home back in Kerala...Nada..Its such an integral part of the daily meals in kerala.Oh my dad, he says he can sacrifice anything in life , but a meal without fish curry especially changanacherry style fish curry..oh no!!!


Update :- A picture by Vazhayila's reader Prasad from Oman


I used to wonder as a kid why on earth everyone ask the same question everyday. So later in life, I understood, one can infer a lot from that single chatter. Ordinary fish- nothing much, things as usual, expensive fish -special occasions, guests are coming etc..etc..But things have obviously changed now, and every one prefer to buy butter fish every day :)

Have you ever ponder over the fact why we like fish so much? Recently I happened to read about "taste dialect", which says your birth place( and genetics too) designs your taste buds , just like our spoken dialect. No wonder those who are born in Kerala and Bengal have such an affection to Fish :)
In picture:- Meen Vevichathu
Ingredients:-
  • Fish - 1/2 kg
  • Shallots/Small onion chopped - 1/4 cup
  • Garlic sliced - 6-7 cloves
  • Ginger sliced - 1 inch piece
  • Green chili slit lengthwise - 2
  • Kashmiri chili powder - 2 table spoon
  • Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Kudampuli/Fish tamarind/Gambooge - 2 ( see notes)
  • Curry leaves - a handful
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tspn
  • Coconut Oil or any oil 
How to make Kottayam red fish curry:-
Clean and cut the fish into medium pieces. I used Tilapia fillets and i cut a single fillet into 2-3 pieces.
Wash and clean the kudampuli. Soak Kudampuli in a cup of water and set aside. 
Lightly crush the chopped small onions in a mortar and pestle.
(this is optional, you can use as chopped too).
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and fry it for 30 seconds.
Add small onions,sliced ginger and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add Kashmiri chili powder, Coriander powder and turmeric powder and fry it for 2 minutes.
Add the soaked kudampuli along with water, and 1/2 to 1 more cup of water( only if you want more gravy) to the pan and combine well. 
Add salt to taste. Stir in the fish pieces, combine well and cook it covered for 10-15 minutes.
Uncover it,add a few more curry leaves,sprinkle a tspn of oil and simmer uncovered for another 3-4 minutes.

In picture:- Rice, Kottayam style fish curry, Cherupayar Mezhukkupuratty
Notes:-
  1. To make it less hot :- Reduce the amount of chili powder to 1 table spoon Or add a cup of thin coconut milk instead of water
  2. Instead of chopping Shallots, ginger and garlic, lightly crush it in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. 
  3. In that case use only 3-4 garlic cloves.But i always love to get the bite of tiny pieces of garlic and shallots in my fish curry.
  4. Making Meen vevichathu in claypot (Manchatti) makes it more tasty and i sometimes do that and keep it in the same outside for 2 days.
  5. The number of kudampuli/ Fish tamarind depends on how much tangy you want it to be. i usually add 2 large or medium , if its tiny add 4 for 1/2 kg fish , and it will be more tangy the next day.so add it accordingly :)
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57 comments:

Suja Sugathan said...

Looks so spicy and yummy..love kottayam style of fish curry..will try this recipe soon..yummy

Foodie Ann said...

wow... Mouthwatering pictures....This is my favorite way to eat fish...Kudampuli itta meen...:)

An Open Book said...

im drooling seriously..what fish have you used???
i use the instant podi and its not authentic at all..that colour i never manage 2 get

Mrs K said...

I cannot agree more on your thoughts about,"what fish you got today" :) I remember my dad being such a foodie,first thing in the morning before he even left for work-he would discuss the menu for dinner with my mom,he obviously did not eat luch at home...hehehe.Lovely dish,you can add sindhi's also with bengalis & keralites *smiles*

Swathi said...

Chiratta thavi, meen curry adipoli sarah. Clicks nanayittu undu.

Laya said...

Oh my sara, mind blowing fish curry. i will never get this red color. Surely want to try this soon :-)

Cooking Blog Indexer said...

i like your fish story :)...meen curry kandittu vayil vellam ozhukunnu....

Anonymous said...

Great Article

Kairali sisters said...

Now i crave meen vevichathu, its raining here too sarah...

Treat and Trick said...

Tasty dish and great pix dear..

Pushpa said...

Delicious tangy and spicy fish curry...Happy Diwali to you Sarah..

simplehomefood.com

Umm Mymoonah said...

Mouthwatering pictures, looks great.

Sayantani said...

Sarah I was in Kerala for the last week and am bowled over by your food. loved the kappa with fish curry, fish fry, appam, veg stews and cant say what not...am bookmarking this for trying asap/
happy diwali to you and your family.

Pavithra Srihari said...

wow !!! that is totally mouth watering

Gulmohar said...

Can't stop drooling...adipoli meen curry and lovely pics :-)

kothiyavunu.com said...

evideyum nalla mazhaannu..ithu kandappo sherikum vishakkunu..adipolittoo honey!

Yummy Team said...

Really tempting pics, Sarah..Meen curry kandittu oru rakshayumilla..Simply superb!!

Mrs.Menagasathia said...

super recipe n mouthwatering clicks...

Angie's Recipes said...

Looks so appetizing and great! Love its spicy hot looking colour.

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious we make it similar
lovely meal presentation

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

awesome... looks so great!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

awesome... looks so great!

Nikki said...

ths fish curry looks awesome,and sure it wud be tasting great,,and perfect clicks.
Enjoy,
Nikki,
http://titilating-tastebuds.blogspot.com/

Nandini said...

What a meal! It's truly divine and tempting! Happy Diwali!

Soumya said...

excellent presentation as always Sarah...adipoli meen curry....very tempting...

Sreelekha Sumesh said...

Ente kochee...enthoru kothipikala ethu.E fish curry eppo entem fav anu.Looks so so yummy!Pinne Happy Diwali to u and ur N:)

Priya said...

Tongue tickling dish, mouthwatering here..

Sarah Naveen said...

@ Suja..try it and lemme know :)
@ Nisha. this one is Tilapia..I use only salmon and Tilapia fillets as it is less work ;). I know the read made powder gives u a brown color alle? use kashmiri chili powder, to get the best red color.
@ Sayantani... Oh so lovely..Hope you had a wonderful time in Kerala...So happy to hear that you loved all those..I m craving for some now :)...

Anncoo said...

Happy Diwali to you and all at home!

Mrs K said...

Happy Diwali to you& yours Sarah.I have an award waiting for you in my blog.Please come & collect it and post it on your blog. Thanks!

Nitha said...

eesheara... chorum, meen curry yum, cherupayarum... kandittu kothi sahikkunnilla...

Ananda Rajashekar said...

That look ultimately spicy and extremely delicious wish to grab bowl of fish, rice and eat :)

Rachel said...

I just got myself a meen chatti and I definitely feel a better enhance taste. My daughter and I want fish curry every other day/

Ally said...

looks tempting enough!

lissie said...

delicious fish curry! nice clicks too...!
your post brings back nostalgic memories, Sarah...even today, we have fish curry on all week days!

Reshmi said...

hattss off sarah...such a delicate n temeting fish curry...i ll try this soon...

ganga said...

enteyum fav curry aanu....adipoli....

jayarajmurukkumpuzha said...

super......

Fathima said...

I just posted this recipe and was browsing around and saw urs... and was surprised to see that ur pic also had the same items as mine!






Dr.Sameena Prathap
said...

Hi Sarah,

That looks awesome...Love the deep rich colour...:)

Dr.Sameena@

http://www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

Mini said...

Like that red color. Looks like Andhra Fish pulusu.

Vandana Rajesh said...

The fish curry looks amazing...just like mom's fish. The color and all is so perfect..have to try ur version soon...drooling!!

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Your fish curry looks absolutely delicious! I actually prefer fish curry to chicken curry with my roti.

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aipi said...

Lovely color!

US Masala

meeso said...

Woooo, that is a wonderful color red!

saj said...

Meen vevichathu is usually little bit more thicker gravy ( almost varattiyathu) prepared in a chatti.
I believe they did this in the dry fashion so that it will last for couple of days without spoiling for weddings before the advent of refrigerator. I remember my aunty making this in a chatti for my sisters wedding, it is kind of hard to make it in a chatti without it sticking to the bottom.

Sarah Naveen said...

Dear Saj...
I really appreciate you for taking the time to write what you really wrote....
Thanx for the info,....but i believe there is no hard and fast rule as to you should make it exactly as you said. In my house it was made with a lil gravy , so would it make a less meen vevichathu? I really doubt it..And honestly I am trying to recreate the taste and the recipes i grew up eating ..so pardon me, if it cross ur way. ..And about the meen curry they usually make in wedding..To my knowledge it is not made in this way...They mix everything in pure coconut oil without warming it up ,before they actually cook, else it wont stay long :)....

Neenu Praveen said...

lovely fotography..mind blowing....

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah! love your blog and the recipes you have posted. I tried one of the fish dishes you have listed and it came out quite ok for a first time trial :). Planning to make this fish curry and wondering if we can use frozen fish fillets instead of fresh? Hope to hear from you and thanks a bunch for sharing your delicious creations!
JK

Sarah Naveen said...

@ JK...
Thanks a lot ...
Oh yeah you can use frozen fillets..But make sure you thaw it well . I normally keep it outside for 30 minutes to an hour( max) in a bowl of room temperature water before I cook...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I am going to try then. Thanks again! :)
JK

Jesline said...

Sarah....awesome clicks....indeed a good job.....nice blog....kudos to u..God bless!

Loveandcalories said...

Love it!! Love it!! Love it!!

Nabeela said...

I was addictd 2 Shabs cuisine till nw,but she had mre of malabarian recipes....seems lyk iv struck GOLD nw!!moms always so vague wid her ingredient measurements, m so glad i found ur blog..:)

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