Meen peera infused with pot tamarind: It's all you need to enjoy rice

The anchovy fish, also known by different names such as kozhuva, natholi, and chooda in different regions, is perfect to prepare meen peera. Photo: Shutterstock/Maya Pix

‘Meen peera kudampuli ittu vattichathu’ (Kerala-style fish recipe with shredded coconut and pot tamarind) is one of the most delicious recipes that Malayalis ever produced. The dish is easy to prepare and healthy too. The ideal fish to prepare the dish are anchovies or baby sardines, which are small in size and have no strong bones. The anchovy fish is known by different names such as kozhuva, natholi, and chooda in different regions. As the dish is prepared with grated coconut, it bears the name meen peera vattichathu. Here's how you can make it:

300 grams anchovy fish
Salt (as required)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 pieces cocum
2-3 tablespoon water
½ cup grated coconut
10-11 bird eye pepper (Kanthari Mulaku)
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon coconut oil
6-7 pieces small onions
A small piece of ginger
curry leaves (as required)

Blend the cleaned fish with salt, turmeric powder, and chilli powder and keep it aside
Cut the kokum into small pieces and keep it soaked in a tablespoon of water
Put the grated coconut and the bird eye pepper in a mixer and coarsely blend (no need to grind well)
Put a clay pan on the stove and pour some coconut oil
Put crushed ginger, crushed onions, and curry leaves and sauté for some time
Now add the soaked pot of tamarind into the mix along with the water, followed by the coconut mix and water
As the mix begins to boil, add the fish and cook covered for some time
Once the fish is cooked well, add salt to adjust the taste and let it simmer on a medium flame for some more time. Make sure the mix is not stirred with a spoon. Swirl the pot instead or else the fish may get crushed
As the water content evaporates completely, add the curry leaves and a few drops of coconut oil and swirl the pan once again
Now keep the pan covered with a lid for some time
Here, the tasty meen peera is ready to serve along with hot steamed rice!

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