Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Kerala Fish Molly


Recommended Posts

Fish molly, molee, moilee.. Meen molly. A white fish dish with gentle spice heat prepared with coconut milk and tomatoes, it is a family favourite. It's perfectly good made mild, but can be made quite hot, too.

This is how my younger sister prepares this. I'm not posting a recipe, but recording a process. No measurements in grams or cups, although I'm sure this is available elsewhere. I hope this will help guide you through the process if you wish to attempt it.

Where we start. Green chillies, ginger and garlic. Red onions. IMG_20220319_184350.thumb.jpg.1b2a4602e556edaf27093174523c61f6.jpg

 

IMG_20220319_183819.thumb.jpg.cc946f0183f3690b9a59a9b418f6cc30.jpg

 

Next, tomatoes. IMG_20220319_185611.thumb.jpg.ba7fa5f28fc8969c01a6f1b39b4d6d4d.jpg

 

Salmon, because that's what we have. Taliapa might be a better choice, but salmon is readily available here in the UK. IMG_20220319_183844.thumb.jpg.25e269fc00357bd3773184a55833f91b.jpg

 

Add a bit of red chilli powder and turmeric, and rub into the flesh side of the fillet. IMG_20220319_183903.thumb.jpg.a521cfe12e32d1165cb4021d0d5698ac.jpg

 

Fry on a hot pan, skin side down just for a few minutes to allow you to peel off the skin. IMG_20220319_183941.thumb.jpg.6063cf28e2d4fa125e151d8ba7d86885.jpgIMG_20220319_184038.thumb.jpg.0607e1bf4263a4ad7230af2741dfa72d.jpg

 

Set aside the fish.

 

Fry the onions. My sister used a neutral vegetable oil. Add a little salt at this point. Add the garlic and ginger, then when they're golden add and fry in some garam masala, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes. Continue gentle frying. IMG_20220319_185308.thumb.jpg.b00e52748af1827352cb8ba5530d701a.jpgIMG_20220319_185758.thumb.jpg.a28cfe9ceddb99d2aa13d1a594d4df80.jpg

 

Add a handful of curry leaves. IMG_20220319_185851.thumb.jpg.9047c5f3bd7abb4c6b2fc2d342d03547.jpg

 

Stir in the coconut milk. Continue gentle cooking. IMG_20220319_190151.thumb.jpg.609a18396155d5691e45f1a01f965b56.jpgIMG_20220319_190531.thumb.jpg.76c36486c490661161416a17929b162a.jpg

 

Now we can add the sauce to the fish. Make sure to get some of the the sauce underneath the fish fillets too. IMG_20220319_191638.thumb.jpg.db3167b0a5c7cbf132645ad5e4488a7a.jpg

 

Now it's ready to bung in the oven, say 180C for 30 minutes. Serve it with sliced bread. Ciabatta tonight, close to the tough bread I had as a child. IMG_20220319_204020.thumb.jpg.52b7f6c3c6eacea889d4403b269dc716.jpgIMG_20220319_204652.thumb.jpg.dded9914a305ffc508f295cf10ac7eb1.jpg

 

Mild spice warmth, rich with coconut, a forward tomato note, underscored with turmeric. If you don't want to try cooking it yourself, do try it if you ever get to Kerala.

IMG_20220319_190147.jpg

IMG_20220319_190536.jpg

Edited by Kerala
Suggestions from my sister. (log)
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
  • Delicious 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you . A simple flavorful dish.  Funny I'd call salmon red but that is my simplistic color thing, Also putting it back in the oven to me seems a long tume after the initial stove top. Does that "bring it together" for you. I'd want rice but do you perhaps dunk the bread in the sauce?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're right @heidih, salmon is red, but it works fine. A more country style preparation omits tomatoes and red chilli powder so that it is a much paler, almost white dish. The heat is provided by more green chilli and more pepper. However, the red fish molly preparation is also common.

 

The initial sear of the fish is just to remove the skin. That's what my sister does. You could skin it without this step.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The most proper accompaniment is appam, a fluffy rice pancake, but that's a whole 'nother thing. Bread is very commonly used in Kerala with fish molly.

Edited by Kerala (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Kerala said:

The most proper accompaniment is appam, a fluffy rice pancake, but that's a whole 'nother thing. Bread is very commonly used in Kerala with fish molly.

Oh appam sounds perfect!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Naive question.  Would the dish work with dried curry leaves?  I was supposed to get some arctic char tonight but the delivery never happened.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dried curry leaves are not as fragrant,but they are better than making the dish without. Curry leaves are quite a subtle addition, but they really elevate the dish. Jo, I would just add a modest handful of dried curry leaves and go ahead. Too much would be worse than too little, but the acceptable range is quite wide.

If you stumble upon fresh curry leaves in some Asian grocer's, they freeze well. Just add them frozen to whatever you're preparing.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Dishoom recipe looks great. The main variation seems to be the mustard seeds at the very start of cooking and the treatment of the curry leaves. I could go either way with either of these.

And, of course, no oven stage in Dishoom. The oven phase is necessary if you are doing big slabs of fish rather than prawns, and it adds a bit of caramelisation at the surface.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Kerala said:

By the way, for anyone interested, the Dishoom cookbook is absolutely cracking.

I agree.  I've cooked quite a bit from it and have more recipes on my list. And it’s a treat just to read!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...