Amma's Kitchen: Varutha Meen (Keralite Fried Fish)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Ed was winding me up non-stop the other day. Rather than ranting and raving at him, I finally and calmly asked him how he was going to make up for his behaviour. He said: 'I'll buy you fish!'. Although he got berated for being tight northerner etc, he knew exactly what I needed. A nice piece of fish makes me very happy. Whilst back home, my mum's way of showering love was to fry me lots of fish, keralite style. I've never quite been able to recreate her style of fried fish, partly due to lack of availability of the right fish and partly because of how fish is filleted here. My mum ( a.k.a. Amma) has very kindly shared her recipe here as part of a new twist to the food section, Amma's Kitchen.  In case you were wondering, varutha meen is Malayalam for fried fish. Here is how Amma makes it.

6 pieces of fish (I'd use mackerel or pomfret although I'm sure it works with most fish)
2 tsp chilli powder
Salt, to taste
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 lemon
1 onion
2 cups semolina for dipping the fish
1 cup oil for frying

Sprinkle the fish with the juice of half a lemon, add salt, chilli, ginger and garlic  and set aside to marinate. After about 30 mins of marinating, roll the fish in semolina and deep fry until nicely browned on both sides. The trick is to make sure the fish is nicely fried without getting overcooked and disintegrating. Serve with lemon and onion slices. 

I'm yet to perfect Amma's varutha meen but I'll keep practising. Let me know how you get on with this recipe. Ann x


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