Chef Tia Anasuya shares her grandmother’s Meen Moilee recipe

Her grandmother learnt this recipe from a relative

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  14th February 2020 04:06 PM   |   Published :   |  14th February 2020 04:06 PM
Meen Moile

Meen Moile

Sous Chef Tia Anasuya, from Nevermind Bar & Social, is constantly searching for the symphony of ingredients where the taste helps in lifting the senses. One recipe that is the epitome of this is Meen Moilee.

Chef Tia Anasuya

It is her grandmother, Ammu George’s recipe. The chef shares the story behind the recipe and says, "Ammu George, lived on the bank of the Muvattupuzha River in Mamalassery, Kerala. Her family never bought vegetables in their life. They didn’t need to. With access to their own private farmland with acres of land to grow all the vegetables they would ever need, coffee plantations and their own chicken and goats for meat, they were never in want for anything. Ammu didn’t know how to make a pot of tea till she married the love of her life, TJS George and wanted to keep her husband fed and happy, after which she became the best cook in the family. Ammu is my grandmother and Meen Moilee was one of the first things she learnt to cook as a newly married woman. She learnt this from a relative who saw how desperate she was to be the quintessential Malayali housewife and taught her all she’d need to know. Her Meen Moilee is the stuff of dreams. It is a perfectly balanced, mildly spiced symphony of coconut milk, thick chunks of Ney Meen (seer fish) and Kerala spices. It is one of the simplest curries to make, but when made well is the perfect comfort food, making it one of my favorite recipes to cook, and of course to eat. So when I was contributing into the making of the new menu at Nevermind Bar & Social, I had to give Ammu George some credit for teaching me what healthy indulgence was as early as 5 years old. This force of a woman raised me and my food journey would be largely lacking if not for her."

Here's the recipe:

Meen Moile
1/2kg boneless seer fish  
5g gram flour  
Salt to taste  
2g red chili powder
300ml first extract thick coconut milk
200ml second extract thin coconut milk
5 sambar onions sliced thin
10g julienne cut fresh ginger
10g curry leaves
5g mustard seeds
2 green chilies split vertically down the middle
2 dry red chilies broken into two
2g turmeric powder
50ml coconut oil

Wash the fish with salt and gram flour Marinate in salt and turmeric, keep it aside
Heat 30 ml coconut oil in a clay pot (alternatively one can use a kadai)
Add sliced sambar onion, 5g curry leaves and the julienned fresh ginger. Sauté till onions are soft and translucent
Add the seer fish, turmeric and red chili powder. Mix Add the second extract coconut milk and bring to a slow simmer
After simmering for 5-6 mins, take it off the heat and add the first extract thick coconut milk and stir
In a separate pan, heat 20ml coconut oil
Add mustard seeds and let them pop
Add the dry red chilies and remaining curry leaves
Add this to the curry
Serve hot with rice