Kerala( southern most state of India), we call it "GODS OWN COUNTRY", why won’t it be ...
Lush green fields , beautiful rivers and lakes , backwaters , unadulterated spices , Big coconut trees (now even come in varieties with yellow coconut on them), sprawling beaches , ancient temples , mysterious shrines , beautiful churches , enthralling wild life, pure ayurveda , amazing martial arts , enchanting dance forms , classical music and top of all beautiful people.
It’s an amalgamation of extraordinary things, but the thing that has left the most biggest impact on my soul, is the cuisine of this beautiful state.
Coming from a Malayali family(resident of kerala), I always looked forward to our visits to Kerala just for the food, the smell of those freshly cut bananas deep frying, fresh fish coated in spices and shallow fried, rice delicacies cooked in banana leaves, greatest varieties of tubers, stews, appams, parotha and for the sweet tooth’s the Special Halwa(convection) from those lovely bakeries which are mushrooming everywhere in the state.
Being a coastal state Kerala cuisine has in it lots of seafood delicacies, beautiful fresh water fishes, cooked in aromatic masala is a feast for soul.
Being a avid foodie there are varieties of recipes which I would love to share but the recipe which I will be sharing is the one which I always look forward to and the one unique taste which I deeply miss, although I have been trying this recipe here in Delhi but the taste which comes from cooking in earthenware (chetti) dish and using kokum / gamboge ( souring agent found in kerala) and fresh ingredients of Kerala is not matched.
The smell of the curry with deep red colour is something for the senses to feel. So I would like to share one my mother’s recipe which is meen (fish) curry
Fish - 500 gms
Salt- 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Onion - 2 tbsp chopped
Ginger- 1 tbsp finely chopped
Garlic - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Kokum/ gamboge - 2 no.
Curry Leaves - 7 nos.
Water - 2 cups
1. Finally chop ginger , garlic and onions and keep aside
2. Rub little salt on the fish pieces (skinned or de skinned fillets) and keep it to rest.
3. Take oil in a special earthenware (called chetti), add oil and sauté onions, garlic and ginger.
4. Once the raw aroma of garlic is not felt, add turmeric, coriander, fenugreek & red chilli powder.
5. When the masala is cooked add kokum and fish
6. Add water and little salt and let the fish cook in water.
7. Reduce it till the desired consistency is reached.
8. Serve with rice or kappa
if you don’t have( kokum/ gamboge) , tamarind or tomatoes can be used as alternative. This dish tastes best with boiled kappa (which is a tuber found in Kerala) or with steamed rice.