The fish vendor delivered some pink perch which triggered nostalgia of childhood days of enjoying kilimeen fry, red hot from the tawa.
In my childhood days an Indo-Norwegian project brought fish from Kochi within three hours of trawler landing to home in interior Thidanad.
Sardines, Mackerel and Kilimeen were popular buys as we had to buy a fairly large number to feed in the house with 10 children. I mean, they were less expensive as compared to other fish.
Kilimeen fry, hot from tawa was the most delicious with rice for lunch.
So I took my wife’s permission to try and make the fry.
• Kilimeen 4 large (one Kg)
• Ginger/garlic paste-2tbsp
• Turmeric Powder- 2tsp
• Pepper Powder- 1tbsp
• Kashmiri Chilly Powder- 2 tbsp
• Lemon Juice- 1tbsp
• Salt- to taste
• Coconut oil – for shallow frying
• Curry leaves- A few springs
Wash the cleaned fish and make deep cuts on both sides with a knife.
Make a fine paste of the ingredients.
Apply it on the fish making sure that the mix goes evenly and into the cuts made on the fish.
Keep the marinated fish in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Pour coconut oil (must for the Kerala taste) sufficient for shallow frying onto the heated pan. Allow it to boil.
Place springs of curry leaves on the tawa and carefully place the marinated fish on top.
Cover the pan and allow to fry for about 5 minutes.
Turn carefully to the other side and fry again for five more minutes.
Kilimeen fry is ready to be eaten hot with rice.
It turned out well and tasty though some lack of fine skills made the presentation somewhat wanting.