Recipe video: How to make Meen Moilee (Kerala-style Fish in Coconut sauce)

I treasure my utensils and kitchen appliances with more love than my wedding ring. And if I were to choose between my Kerala-style clay pots and some modern, fancy cooking instrument, I would most definitely choose my clay pots. I love the earthy smoothness of their surfaces and I love the aroma that wafts in my kitchen when I put one on the stove to heat. And there are some dishes that just should be made in a clay pot, not in a thick-bottomed non-stick saucepan. Meen Moilee is one such dish. I don’t trust a Meen Moilee that has not been made in a Meen Chatti or Kerala-style claypot for cooking fish.

Here’s a video that starts with my fisherwoman delivering my quota for the day followed by a simple recipe for a delicate, light, Kerala-style fish curry made in my favorite clay pot.

Meen Moilee

  • 2 medium-sized pomfrets, sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1-inch piece ginger, julienned
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 2 pods of garlic, sliced
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 and 1/2 cup thick coconut milk


  1. Clean and dry the pomfrets on a dish cloth.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric powder and allow to marinate for a few minutes while you prepare for the rest of the recipe.
  3. Heat oil in a clay pot and add the ginger, chilies, garlic, and curry leaves, followed quickly by the onion. Saute for about a minute until the onions turn translucent.
  4. Arrange the pomfrets on the bed of onions and add the water. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk and simmer for a minute or so until the fish is just cooked.
  6. Tip in the tomatoes.
  7. Turn off the heat and serve hot with plain rice.

Comments (3)

  1. Torviewtoronto January 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    lovely post delicious looking fish

  2. Aarthi January 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Yummy recipe…will try it for sure..Thanks for posting


  3. Swati Sapna January 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    A very nice post and a great moilee recipe! 🙂

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