A tribute to the tribal community of the Agasthiyar forest near Thiruvananthapuram, Meen Nellika Masala has two special ingredients – dried gooseberries and green peppercorns. Paired with bird’s eye chillies, they infuse the fish fry with floral notes and a lingering sweet-tart aftertaste.
- 2 darne of sear fish or black pomfret
- ¼ cup sundried gooseberry (amla)
- 3 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
- 1 tbsp fresh tender peppercorns
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 10 fresh bird’s eye chilli
- 5 shallots
- 5 curry leaves
- Blitz all the ingredients listed under ‘For Paste’, except the coconut oil, into a fine paste.
- Heat the cold-pressed coconut oil on a tawa and cook the paste for about 10 minutes. Divide it into two portions and keep one portion on the edge of the tawa.
- Place fish on the tawa, cover with one part of the masala and grill. Turn fish over, cover with the remaining masala and cook till it is done.
- Serve hot.