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
Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  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.