Fish delicacies such as ‘meen mulakittathu’ acquire a special taste when freshwater species are used in the preparation. However, most freshwater fishes are very difficult to clean, especially varieties such as ‘koori’(catfish), ‘koori vala’(basa), ‘chillan’ (mystus) and ‘manja koori’(sun catfish). In fact, it is a big task to remove the scales and cut these varieties into small pieces as they are slippery.
The normal method to remove the scales of these fishes is scraping them against a granite rock. But there is an easy alternative to this laborious process.
Take some water in a vessel and add Malabar tamarind (kudampuli) to it
Heat the water on a stove
Pour the water on the uncleaned fish kept in an earthen pan
The water should only be mildly warm. If it is very hot, the fish will get cooked
There should be sufficient water to immerse the whole fish
Let the fish remain in the warm water for 10 minutes
Afterwards, take out the fish from the water and cut its tail and side parts with scissors
Then the scales could be removed easily by scraping the fish with scissors or a scrubber
The slippery nature of the freshwater fish and all the dirt would disappear within minutes and it would take on a whitish appearance.