Meen Thilapichathu Kerala Style/ Meen Soup (Fish Curry With Green Chilies)
Meen thilapichathu is usually made with fresh king fish heads. This is one of my moms favourite fish curries. I never liked eating fish heads when I was a kid so my mom used to throw in a few fish steaks, specially for me. This curry has different names in different regions. I think its also called fish soup in some places, probably because of the light soupy texture the curry has. Check out this recipe and let me know whats its called in your home town.
Fish (king fish/any big fish with bones) – 1/2 kg (cleaned and cut)
Small onions – 1 cup
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 2-3
Green chillies – 10 –12
Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
Kudam puli/kokum – 2-3 (If using vinegar – 1/4 cup)
Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Lime juice – 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Clean the fish and soak it for 5 minutes in lime and salt water for the fishy smell to go away.
Soak the kudam puli in 1/2 cup of warm water and keep aside.
Crush the small onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies without adding water and keep aside. (make sure it doesn’t turn pasty)
In a deep bottomed pan/chatty add 2 tablespoons oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add the crushed onion mixture and curry leaves to the pan and sauté till the raw smell of the ginger and garlic goes away.
Add turmeric and stir for a minute. Next add kudam puli/vinegar, salt and about 1/2 – 1 cup water(depending on how much gravy you need). Bring to a boil, then add the pieces of fish and cook on a medium flame till the gravy thickens (about 10 minutes). Remove from flame and serve with rice.
The curry is usually made with the head and tail of any big fleshy fish. The fresher the fish the better the curry tastes.