This is my grandmother’s favorite. She used to prepare fish moilee with mackerel (ayala). It’s just walkable distance to the beach and the fish market from our home in Calicut. If my father or any of the uncles get to find fresh fish just out of the sea; during the evenings or late nights, they get it then and there. They would definitely want to get it fried at that moment, but if it is mackerel, my grandmother would reserve it for the next day breakfast provided it’s the day for Puttu or Vellappam. Not sure if I had mentioned before; I am from a joint family. During the days of my grandmother, she had a time table for the breakfast items on each day. We had Vellappam on Sunday, Upma or kuthappam on Monday, Idly on Tuesday, Puttu on Wednesday and so on… An exception was when there is some special occasion; all are too busy to be in the kitchen.
I know that not everyone can digest the idea of non-veg for breakfast. Even my hubby, who is a pure non-vegetarian, never prefers it for breakfast. May be that’s the trend just towards the Malabar area. But whenever I make this dish, it reminds me the taste of the curry my grandmother used to make for breakfast. That was really yummy and the best I ever had.
Fish (King Fish) -- ½ kg
Onion -- 1 medium
Green chillies -- 3 or 4
Ginger -- 1 inch piece
Garlic -- 2 small cloves
Shredded Coconut -- 1 cup
Turmeric Powder -- ½ tsp
Garam masala -- ½ tsp
Pepper powder -- 1½ tsp
Coriander leaves -- few
Vinegar -- 1 tsp
Oil -- 2 tbsp
Salt -- to taste
Preparation of Moilee:
Extract thick & thin milk from the coconut and keep it aside.
Grind 2 green chillies, 1 pod of garlic and ½ inch piece of ginger. Add 1 tsp of pepper, turmeric and salt to the mixture. Marinate the clean and cut fish with the prepared marinade.
Deep fry the fish until they are 90% cooked. Make sure that you don’t overcook them. I used King Mackerel; but this can be prepared with any fish, preferably the ones with lesser bones.
Heat oil in a pan and add the finely chopped onions, left over green chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute until the onions become translucent. Add garam masala and sauté for a minute. Add the thin coconut milk and the fried fish. Let it boil. Now the yellow colour from the fried fish blends with the white coconut milk and will give a light yellow colour to the curry.
Once it starts boiling add vinegar, turn off the fire and leave the pan on the stove itself. Now add the thick coconut milk. Mix it well and then garish with the left over pepper powder, chopped coriander leaves and the tomatoes cut in circles. Close the pan with the lid and leave it for 10 – 15 minutes; until the essence of the garnishing blend into the curry.
This goes well with appam, idyappam, puttu or even with ghee rice.