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Fish Molee Recipe

Fish Molee : Light Summery Fish Stew from Kerala

Course Main Course, Main Dish, soups stews
Cuisine kerala


For the marinade

  • 500 gm fish I used Sheela/Cheelavu/Barracuda but kingfish/seer works well too
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • Salt to taste

For the curry

  • 1 inch ginger finely minced
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tomato cut in rounds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil for curry
  • 5 Green Chilies slit
  • coconut oil for frying
  • salt as required
  • coconut oil as required


  • Clean and cut fish into pieces. I make my fish vendor do this for me and for this curry, I prefer the cuts to be into slices or steaks as they call it. Marinate the fish with lemon juice, pepper, salt and turmeric powder for 15-20 minutes.
  • In a pan, add little coconut oil and shallow fry fish on both sides. You can use any other oil as well but I feel coconut oil gives it a lovely character and taste.
  • In a separate pan (I use a mud chatti for the same), heat oil. Add curry leaves, ginger, garlic and green chillies, sauté for a minute.
  • Add the sliced onions and sauté until it turns translucent, don't let it turn brown. One of the things I have realised about Kerala cooking is that onions for the curry are almost never fried to golden or even a light brown.
  • Add turmeric powder and thin coconut milk. Close the lid and allow the curry to boil for 5-6 minutes on a medium flame. When the oil starts floating a bit on top, lower the flame and add lemon juice, mix well.
  • Now add the fried fish and bring to a boil. Do not stir once the fish is added as your fish might break. Also don't cook too much beyond this point since the fish is already fried.
  • Add the thick coconut milk and cook on a low flame for another 1-2 minutes, make sure not to allow the dish to boil beyond this stage by keeping the heat to low.
  • Turn off the heat, Add tomatoes and some more curry leaves, close the lid and let the tomatoes cook in the heat of the curry.
  • Serve hot with rice, idiyappam or appams.
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