Meen Pattichathu/Vattichathu or Nadan Meen Curry or Home Style Fish Curry (the exact translation) is a traditional Syrian Christian dish which is spicy fish curry with a distinctive sour taste. The distinctive sour taste of this curry comes from “Kudam puli” or Garcinia cambogia or Fish Tamarind. Kudampuli is soaked in water for 10 minutes and added to curry along with the water in which it was soaked and to get distinctive sour taste that is so unique.
This curry is prepared in a clay pot or curry chatty. This curry is prepared a few days before and need not to be refrigerated. In fact the full bloom of taste is reached only by the third day. The actual trick involved in this dish is using Kashmiri red chilli powder, which is mild in heat but gives a bright red colour and the tangy twist from Kudam puli.
Meen Pattichathu/Vattichathu or Nadan Meen Curry
- 750 grams Fish
- 2 tbsp. Coconut Oil
- ¼ tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
- 1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
- 4 to 5 Springs Curry Leaves
- 2 to 3 Shallots Sliced
- ½ inch Ginger Julienne
- 2-to 3 Garlic Cloves Sliced
- 4 to 5 Green Chillies
- 2 ½ tbsp. Red Kashmiri Chili powder with less heat
- ¼ tsp. Turmeric powder
- 7 to 8 Kodampuli
- Water as required
- Salt to taste
- Soak kudampuli in half a cup of water and keep aside.
- In the clay pot(manchatti/ curry chatty) mix together fish, ginger, green chilli, few curry leaves, Kashmiri red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
- Add Soak kudampuli and the water in which it is socked and salt.
- Add enough water to cook the fish.
- Bring this to flame, first to high heat; allow it to shimmer for some time. Then reduce to low heat till the liquid reduces and the gravy thickens.
- Remove from fire.
- Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
- Add shallots, garlic and curry leaves saute till they turn light brown, and fragrant.
- Add the ½ tsp. chilli powder.
- Pour this over the fish curry.
- Serve with rice, appam etc.