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The exquisite coastline and backwaters of Kerala are blessed with rich fishing grounds. It contributes a significant percentage to the total fish production in India. People in Kerala are fish-loving and for the same reason, you'll be able to find a great assortment of fish dishes here.
Any fish can be used to prepare 'Meen Mulakittathu'. (Meen is the Malayalam for Fish and Mulaku is Chilli). As the name indicates, a generous amount of chilli (as green chillies or red chilli powder) is used in the curry which makes it really spicy and the gambooge (kudampuli) gives it a nice sour taste. This recipe doesn't use coconut which is another speciality of the dish. The curry is best served with Rice, Kappa (tapioca), Puttu or Appam.
Below are some cooking tips and alternatives.
1. Traditionally, the fish dishes are cooked in an open-mouthed earthenware known as 'Manchatti'. It is said that preparing the dish in a Manchatti will enhance the flavour and adds to its uniqueness.
2. This recipe uses 2 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder which is less hot. To give it an extra spicy kick, you may use 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder and 1 tbsp normal chilli powder. You may also add green chillies if needed. Adjust the spice levels according to your taste.
3. Prepare the curry at least 2 - 3 hours before serving so that the flavour blend into the fish pieces. Ideally, prepare the curry one day in advance, keep covered in Manchatti and re-heat it before serving. It will taste incredible the next day.
4. Some gambooge pieces can be very strong. If you feel so, remove it from the curry after some time.