Our menu at Kappa Chakka Kandhari, of which this recipe is a part, is a tribute to the food I grew up with and to mothers’ cooking. A mother’s recipe is a pathway to childhood memories. It is created not through well-documented notes, but through spontaneity and estimation.
Karimeen, or pearl spot fish, is a favourite of the sea-food lovers in Kerala. Living in the backwaters, the fish gets uniquely flavoured with the salinity of the seawater and the sweetness of the freshwater. At the toddy shops in the state, it is shallow fried in coconut oil. This recipe comes from one such toddy shop.
- 4 Karimeen or pearl spot fish, cleaned and with head intact
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 2 tbsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp pepper powder
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Coconut oil for frying
- In a bowl, mix the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli, pepper, salt and lemon juice.
- Smear the masala on the Karimeen and leave for 30 minutes.
- Deep fry in coconut oil. Serve hot.