- Submitted by Dahlia
(Fish in coconut milk sauce, Meen Mappas)
Fish Mappas or Meen Mappas is a fish curry made by the Kerala Syrian Christians. In this nadan style of preparation, the fish is cooked in a creamy coconut milk sauce with chunks of tomatoes which adds a touch of sourness to the gravy. This preparation is traditionally made with Karimeen also known as Pearlspot. If you are not able to find this fish, then you can use any other thick fleshed fish like king fish, pomfret, red snapper etc.
In my family fish is a regular food that we have at least 2-3 times a week. I've already shared the regular fish curry that we prepare with tamarind and roasted coconut. At times, we enjoy other preparations with fish. This curry is perfect for those who cannot have tamarind. The fish is cooked in coconut milk which add a hint of sweetness to the curry. The main heat comes from green chilies and pepper powder. Kids would enjoy this mildly spiced curry. Overall it is a very tasty curry that combines well with appams and white rice.
Recipe For Fish Mappas
- Fish - 1 lb
- Shallots (Sambhar Onions) or Big Onions - 1/2 cup (sliced)
- Tomatoes - 2 (chopped)
- Green chilly- 3
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
- Ginger- 1" piece (chopped)
- Garlic - 4 cloves (chopped)
- Thin Coconut Milk - 1 cup
- Thick Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup
- Oil - 2 tbsp (for frying)
- Chilly powder- 2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Coriander powder- 2 tsp
- Vineger - 1 tsp
- Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon stick - 1" piece
- Cloves - 3
- Cardamom - 2
- Black Peppercorns - 1/2 tsp
- Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
- Clean the fish and cut into pieces. Mix the chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and vineger in a separate bowl with some water to make a paste. Marinate the fish pieces with this paste for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a shallow frying pan and shallow fry the pieces partially. This step is optional.
- Next, heat some oil in a clay pot or a pan, and temper with cardamon, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Add the curry leaves followed by the sliced shallots (or onions), ginger, garlic and green chilies.
- Saute for few minutes till it turns translucent. Next, add the chopped tomatoes and mix everything just once.
- Add the turmeric powder and black pepper powder. Saute for about 30 seconds and add the partially fried fish pieces, salt and the thin coconut milk.
- Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
- Finally add the thick coconut milk. Cook for just a couple of minutes and switch off.
Detailed Steps For Making Meen Mappas
Clean the fish and cut into pieces. Pearlspot tastes very good but you can use any type of fish. Mix the chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and vineger in a separate bowl with some water to make a paste. Marinate the fish pieces with this paste for 10-15 minutes.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and arrange the pieces. Shallow fry the pieces partially. It should not turn brown. This step is optional but I like to do it this way.
Chop the veggies - onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies, tomatoes and keep it ready.
Similarly extract fresh coconut milk and keep it ready. Fresh homemade coconut milk tastes best. To make life easier you can also use coconut milk powder or canned coconut milk. The taste will not be the same but still good enough.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a clay pot or a pan, and add the cardamon, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns.
Add the curry leaves, sliced shallots (or onions), ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute for few minutes till it turns translucent. You do not have to brown the onions.
Next, add the chopped tomatoes and mix everything just once. You do not have to cook the tomatoes.
Add the turmeric powder and black pepper powder.
Add the partially fried fish pieces, salt and the thin coconut milk. Bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
Finally add the thick coconut milk. Cook for just a couple of minutes and switch off.
Remove from heat as soon as the coconut milk is heated through (before it boils). Let the gravy rest for 5 minutes before serving. You can add some fresh curry leaves.
Fish Mappas Variations
- If the tanginess from the tomato is not sufficient, add 2 or 3 pieces of kokum to the gravy.
- You can follow the same method and make Chicken Mappas, Beef Mappas, Mutton Mappas, Egg Mappas or Vendakkai Mappas also.
More Fish Recipes