Friday, 15 April 2016

Meen Moilee | Fish curry with coconut milk

Meen Moilee - Another fish recipe for this kerala special marathon. Meen is the malayalam word for Fish. This is yet another famous fish preparation in Kerala. I don't know why this recipe is called moilee. Probably an aunty named "moilee" innovated this recipe ??

Moilee is a preparation where fish is stewed in coconut milk and a mild flavored masala is prepared with coconut milk, so that flavor of the fish dominates the taste of the curry. It seems this fish-meen moilee marks the foreign influence especially of the Portuguese on the cuisine of Kerala. Actually I found the recipe to be very similar to vegetable stew - famous in kerala along with appam, except the vegetables are replaced with Fish.

You can use any firm fleshy fish for fish moilee. Cut into small pieces and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Incidentally while searching for this recipe I came across a fish named UnniMary. UnniMary is a famous actress of the 80s time. She had big eyes.... and was beautiful ofcourse. Many men have lost their sleep over her. Now, since this fish which is big and is kind of pink colored - has very big eyes, it is called UnniMary it seems!!!


King fish /Pomferts or any firm fleshed fish : 1 lbs or 2 medium sized
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 2 tsp
Lemon juice : 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Onion : 1 large (thinly, sliced)
Tomato : 1 medium (sliced)
Ginger : 1 inch piece (crushed)
Garlic : 2 cloves (crushed)
Black Pepper Powder : 1 tsp
Thick Coconut milk -1st extract /Onnampaal : ½ cup
Semi Thick Coconut milk - 2nd extract /Randampaal : ½ cup
Thin Coconut Milk - 3rd extract /Moonampaal : 1 cup
Curry leaves : 2 sprig
Green chillies : 5-6 nos, slit
cinnamon: 2 1″ pieces
cloves: 4
cardamom: 2
Coconut Oil : around 1/2 cup (to fry the fish)


  • Clean the fish and add turmeric powder, some salt, and red chilli powder to the pieces. Also add the lemon juice and Rub well and leave aside for 30 minutes to an hour. I usually refrigerate the pieces so that the pieces are firm for frying.
  • Heat about 1/2 cup oil in a small frying pan and fry the fish until half done. The idea is to semi-cook the fish rather than fry it well. Drain and set aside. Don't make it too brown.
  • After frying the fish, from the leftover oil, take aout 1-2 tsp of oil  in another pan and add the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Fry for about 1/2 a minute
  • Add the onions and saute the onions until soft and pink.
  • Add the green chillies, curry leaves, ginger paste and garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes.
  • Add the turmeric powder and salt and stir for a few seconds
  • Add the sliced tomatoes and cook till it becomes soft.
  • Add the thin coconut milk and let the mixture boil for about 3 minutes.
  • Now add the fried fish pieces and the semi thick coconut milk.
  • Hold the pan and shake a bit. It is better that spoon is not used lest it breaks the fish.
  • Check for seasoning/salt. Let the mixture boil and become thick.
  • Finally add the thick coconut milk and shake again. When it starts to boil, switch off heat.
  • Sprinkle the black pepper powder at the end.

This curry goes well with Rice, Appam, Idiyappam etc.


  • If you need the gravy to be more sour, you may add 1 tsp of vinegar or 1 tsp of lemon juice.
  • Fresh coconut milk works best for this dish. Store-bought coconut milk will lend a different flavour.
  • While checking for salt, remember that thick coconut milk will be added in the end. So make it little bit salty.
  • Using coconut oil brings in the authentic kerala taste and flavor

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63


  1. Lol on the name..sounds like a favorite dish among fish lovers..

  2. Looks great. Must be so delicious...

  3. Lol! Do you watch lot of movies? I am enjoying your film industry analogy to food. We love fish and this curry looks flavorful.

  4. Great pics and a wonderful curry for fish lovers.

  5. That sounds like a yummy fish curry.

  6. The fish curry looks flavorful with all those ingredients added to it. Must be delicious, I'm bookmarking all your fish recipes, my son is going love it:)

  7. That sure looks like an interesting curry!!

  8. Wat a droolworthy fish curry, can smell the flavour of this curry rite now.

  9. It is so good to see something very interesting in your site that I can't stop on reading. This is indeed a good article.
    Thank you for sharing and for inspiring your readers. Have a good day! Visit my site too.

  10. It is funny to read how people name the fishes. Love the stew gravy and like you said vegetarians can use vegatables instead of fish. Lovely recipe.

  11. I love fish in coconut based curries - I think the two flavors compliment each other very well. This is a great version I can heartily dig into

  12. Interesting info and curry looks great.