Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Simple Kerala Lunch with Fish Fry.

A Simple meal a Keralite, who loves fish, would prefer.Rice with pulisseri, a couple or fried fish pieces and a pappadam to compliment.Mostly this would be his comfort food too.
Pulisseri, a yogurt based curry with ground coconut and spices prepared in a milder way contains fruits like a Kerala ripe banana, mango or pine apple or veggies like ash gourd etc.

Aethapazham /Ripe Banana Pulisseri


Ripe Bananas -1
Green Chillies-2, slit lengthwise once and cut cross to make 4 pieces each
Turmeric powder -1\2 tsp
Thick sour curd-whipped -1 cup
Salt - to taste

To Grind to a fine paste:

Grated coconut -1\2 cup
Green chillies -2
Cumin seeds -1\4 tsp

To season:
Coconut Oil-1 tbsp
Mustard seeds -1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/uluva-1/4 tsp
Shallots/Ulli-5-6-sliced to thin rounds
Curry leaves -1 sprig
Dry red chillies -2, each broken to 3 bits


Peel and Slice round the bananas to a thickness of 2 cms each.Cook them till just soft adding about 1 -11/2 cups of water adding the slit green chilly bits,turmeric and salt.Grind coconut,chillies and cumin to a smooth paste.Add this to the cooking banana pieces.Simmer for a few minutes.Add whipped curd next and mix along adding salt.Remove from fire when it ‘just” boils to avoid any curdling.

Heat oil in a small pan, splutter mustard seeds, lightly brown the fenugreek seeds and shallots,throw in the red chilly bits and the curry leaves.Pour over the hot curry, making sure the consistency as semi-thick.If the curry is too thick do not add water directly and boil again as it might curdle up due to the presence of curd in it; instead, boil water separately and add to the curry.

Fish Fry /Meen Varuthathu.

Fish slices-1/2 kg(the fish used here is Kanambu or Mullet)
Red Chilly Powder-2 tbsp-more or less as you prefer
Ginger-1” piece
Turmeric powder-3/4 tsp
Pepper powder-1 tsp
Curry leaves-A small sprig-(optional)
Salt-to taste
Oil-1/2 cup more or less-for deep frying

Clean the fish,wash and slice.Keep aside.
Grind ginger, red chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt altogether, with just enough water to a smooth paste.Pulse the curry leaves last.This is the marinade which is applied on the slices(let the pieces be not wet after cleaning).Apply marinade on the slices making sure it is coated all over the surface liberally.Arrange flat on a plate and let it stay for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a shallow pan with high edges,Slide in the pieces,2-3 at a time, carefully.Close it with a lid to avoid any spluttering out due to the moisture content on the fish and the marinade.Check after 3-5 minutes whether done, esp the under side of the pieces which is in contact with the pan.Turn over carefully so as to let the other side to get fried as well.Keep the flame medium to facilitate a balanced sort of frying and avoid the marinade seeping into the oil or the slices getting burnt on surface and uncooked, inside.

While the just brown pieces are cooked and soft, a little more time makes the pieces crisper. The deepness of frying is purely according to ones own preference.A tsp of vinegar or lime-juice added to the marinade is to contribute a touch of tanginess and is optional.

Ayala Varuthathu or Fried Mackerel

Are you looking for Ayala Varuthathu or Fried Mackerel? Click here for the recipe!


  1. Bharathy,
    Just saw your comment at my blog. There are more pulisseries getting sent to RCI this month, so this is one popular dish. I guess all the individual variations are interesting.
    BTW, I am Aparna not Archana.:)

  2. This is my comfort food too..nothing like this except for the banana pulisseri which would be substituted..the meal looks very welcoming..

  3. very welcoming food. I am vegeratian. But do enjoy looking at the pictures :). Nice recipe, will forward it to my brother, he will enjoy it.

  4. pazham pulisseri kalakki ! meen varittatu enikku venda keeto! pulisseri ayachu taroo!

  5. Loved the fish fry.looks very much like what we call surmai fish. dont get it here though. miss indian fish

  6. Puliseri with banana interesting! I like the way fish looks.It looks crisp on the outside..:)

  7. Oh wow, comfort food at its best... Looks delicious Bharathy!

  8. ayyooo enikku visakkunneee....kandittu kothiyavunnu..pulissery -fish fry!! i love it...i love ur most of the posts..making me homesick too...:(...looking forward to see more from u...:)

  9. never had pulisseri with ripe bananas...will try it for sure..and how come NV girl...u usually do not make it right!! :)

  10. this was my first post - simple kerala meal with fish fry :) check it out here: same dishes

    pics are so yummy!!!

  11. Bharathy, that plate looks so too good..comfort food for not just a keralite but all fish lovers!..lovely shot..

  12. I'm very hungry now!! Fish fry will be perfect for the gloomy weather we're facing right now .

  13. Hi Bharathy,
    Lovely presentation. Your version of puliseri looks nice with ripe banana.Thanks for sharing.

  14. Wow,puliseri!! While saying itself my mouth is watering!!!
    Great entry!
    I think your sister is going to sue you for posting the same;D

  15. That plate of food would surely comfort us as well :-)

  16. Who can resist this.
    Love pullisery and the fish fry.
    Fish look nicely fried with all the spices. Delicious

  17. What a perfect lunch plate? Fish makes any meal extra special. Especially yours...looks so perfectly fried. My laptop screen is all wet from the drooling.

  18. fish fry looks delecious barathy and that curd gravy with rice soo comforting but dont know how will it taste with ripe banana, pics looks beautiful too

  19. wooo...really it mouth waters.....u know dashing of rice flou and hing in fish fry makes more delicious and crispy tooo

  20. Pongal atlast over!!!
    Yes u r right..Sakkarai pongal,ven pongal,7 kari kootu, sambar..
    I love sakkarai pongal kootu combination!!
    Hope your pongal came out nice and enjoyed eating!
    Thankyou for your wishes!

  21. Hi Bharthy

    Your pulisseri looks great...and loved your papaya-cashew muffins too...a very unique variation!! It really needs a try!!


  22. Aparna!..No words to thank you for the help you had extended to me reg the info collected for chakka appam..!!Thanks a ton,again :)..Sorry da..I get confused with the names and got it again when lovely archana(who has commnted here 3rd) too linked us with the friendship chain :)..will not mess up again..OK?? :)

    Ah!so rachel, you dont like banana in pulisseri right?I too would go for plain curry with fish fry! :)

    Hope your brother likes this,Archana :).Thank you :)

    Nandu,that was very sweet of you..seri, pulisseri engil pulisseri :)

    That name surmai is new to me Vimmi.Is mullet particularly Indian?

    Shankari,that was so broadminded of you to comment on fish too:)..Am I right if I had taken you for a vegetarian???:)

    Sig,it's a pleasure to have you here :)

    :)..Chithra :)...simple to make na..y dont you try making and have whole heartedly?:)..Thank you sweetie :)..

    Rajitha,you are right,not much used to cokking NV.Got my mom's help while making :)..Clever girl!!

    Sister,yours had been kachiya moru right?and you have chena thoran and upperi to compliment :(..Do you see them here..???

    Thank you Sri :)..hope you too are a fish lover like me :)!..

    Jyothsna,I will mail this along with my next up coming post..OK??:)

    MT,thank you :)..Loved your pongal post too..

    Raji,wont you support me(poi sakshi)if she ever does that??;)

    Thank you, Sunita :)

    Yes, HC I love it with extra coating! :)..Thank you ,sweetie!:)

    Kribha..tit for tat! How many times do you know you made me do that :D ???

    That was a crisp comment full of encouragement, bee :)..hugs!

    A little sour,sweet and hot,with all the mildly flavoured spices.Hope you get it Sagari :).Thank you :)

    Aha,Suma..adding rice powder and hing would be a good idea..sure!I will try next time!..Thanks for sharing this tip!:)

    Sakkara pongal and koottu??I thought ven pongal and kootu might compliment.We usually make kara kuzhambu, Raji...yes may be you are thiruvathira kali and koottu combo..this might go like wise..hmmm..What say all thse bring more work to us!,ladies! :)

    Thank you Sugar craft :)..

  23. Was jus browsing thru' n ended up seeing this lunch plate.....the perfect one for me :)....i forced myself to go grocery shopping in the scorching afternoon sun n prepared the entire menu....was dinner time by then of course but was worth the effort n had a perfect satisfying meal !!!!

  24. Hi everyone! is a pleasure for me to share my amazing experiences with you all! This article in particular seems to me that is very useful and effective! I would like to receive more information!

  25. Dear Bharathy:

    Your “spicy chillu” is something that acts according to what it ‘means to be’. It’s refreshing to find something that’s ‘really’ Nadan in nature. We can’t stay still from trying your “Aethapazham”, and, of course, it was a fair deal. It’s good to eat ‘Nadan delicacies’, when people like us love them. We would like to pass it on to others by featuring it on our platform!

    We would love to take your style of delicacies further! This is an exclusive space for your penmanship, where you can publish your unique culinary outputs in the form of food blogs; that too you’re the one, who’s going to own this space! We would like to pass it on to others by featuring it on our platform!

    Sulekha.US would be glad to present your food blog to the Indian communities living abroad. We would love to connect them through one of the most vital channels i.e. food. Featuring your interview would be a perk for our eager Indians, who are waiting for recipes ranging from ‘grand’ to ‘on the go’. On the other hand, it’ll be our pleasure to feature your ‘gastronomic talks’ (interview!) on our home page. Sharing your passion for food might rejuvenate the taste buds and senses of millions of Indians living abroad.

    Bon Appetite!

    Thanks & regards

    Hamida, Content Manager, Sulekha US


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