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Spiced White fish cooked in Coconut - Meen Molee

Spiced White fish cooked in Coconut - Meen Molee

Traditionally, made with seer fish in Kerala, in southern India, this is a versatile
recipe that can be made with any white fish. The combination of the coconut and tamarind gives this dish a distinctive sweet-and-sour flavour.

bar Spiced White fish cooked in Coconut - Meen Molee

Picture by Werner Van Peppen

Serves 2

1 tbsp tamarind pulp or 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
pinch of chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
200g lemon sole fillets, skinned trimmed and cut into 7.5cm/3in pieces
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
50g creamed coconut, crumbled


Put the tamarind pulp in a small heatproof bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to press the pulp and release the seeds and fibres, then strain through a nylon sieve into a bowl, pressing with the back of the spoon to extract as much juice as possible.
Discard the pulp.

Bring 1 cup/240ml of water to the boil.
Sprinkle the turmeric and salt over the fish. Stir the cumin, coriander, chilli powder and boiling water into the tamarind juice, then set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the fish and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally and taking care not to break up the pieces.
Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat, add the garlic to the oil remaining in the pan and fry, stirring, for 30 seconds, or until golden. Watch so it does not burn.

Return the fish to the pan. Stir in the creamed coconut, tamarind liquid and 4 tbsp of just boiled water. Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes until the flavours blend and the fish is cooked through and flakes easily.

Serve hot with plain basmati rice.


(c) 2012

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