Meen Pattichathu/Vattichathu is a spicy fish curry, a traditional Syrian Christian dish. This is fiery red curry which is hot as well as tangy. The trick involved in this dish is using Kashmiri red chilli powder, which is mild in heat but gives a bright red colour. A key ingredient of this dish is Gambooge, a tamarind variety, known as Kudampuli in Malayalam, which gives the tangy twist to it. Ideally, this curry should be cooked in a claypot for best results.
Meen Pattichathu/Vattichathu (Spicy Kerala Fish Curry)
Fish pieces- 750 gms
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1-1/2 tablespoons (Adjust to suit your heat tolerance)
Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek powder- 1 teaspoon
Gambooge (Ingredients Gallery)- 7-8 pieces (Adjust the quantity according to the sourness you require)
Salt to taste
Water as required
Curry leaves- 3-4 sprigs
Oil- 2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
To be coarsely ground
Ginger- 1″ piece
Grind the shallots, ginger and garlic coarsely and keep aside. Mix the chilli, turmeric and fenugreek powders together with a bit of water to form a paste and keep aside. Clean the gambooge and boil in some water along with salt and keep aside. In a clay pot or a pan, heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds in it. Add the ground mixture along with the curry leaves and saute till the oil separates. Add the paste of spice powders. Stir till oil separates. Add the gambooge along with the water. Let boil and slowly add the fish pieces. Cover and cook on low heat for a few minutes. Remove the lid and let cook till you get the desired consistency. Ideal with rice or Tapioca.