Recipe – Fish Stew/Fish Moilee/Meen Moiley

Recipe – FISH MOILEE (Fort Kochi style) (Meen Moilee/Fish Stew)

I do different variations of Fish Moilee and it tastes good all the time; today, am sharing a simple, delicious, easy and quick-to-make recipe prepared in Fort Kochi (Kerala) style

Fish Moilee (Meen Moilee) is a traditional Kerala cuisine. It is hugely popular and loved by many across Kerala. The word ‘moilee’ means stew. Here, the fish is delicately cooked in coconut milk, minimal spices and lemon juice. To get an authentic taste, use fresh firm white fish, fresh coconut milk and good quality black pepper gives this curry a unique taste and texture. If you are a lover of mild subtle flavours, definitely, you will enjoy this dish. It’s my favourite and I always have an extra serving of rice with it.

In this method, frying the fish is optional. Most of the time I make it without frying; it is done to retain the shape of the fish and make it tasty to your palate. If using small pomfret, it can be made whole without frying. Fish Moilee can also be made with prawns too. Do not cook the fish for too long and the tomato should be al dente when preparing this dish.

I have used an earthernware pot (mann-chatti). Making of fresh coconut milk is mentioned in my Alleppey Fish Curry post. Fish Moilee tastes best when prepared on the same day. Serve it with hot steamed rice. Goes well with appams too. A heavenly feast:)

Fresh fish simmered delicately in creamy coconut milk, touch of turmeric, zesty lemon and an additional kick of freshly ground black pepper.

Prep time : 20 mins, Cooking time : 20 mins, Cuisine : Kerala, Serves : 4, Author : Gloria


12 fillets of king fish or pomfret or any firm white fish

1 medium sized onion finely sliced

4 big garlic flakes or 6 small garlic finely sliced

1” ginger julienned

4-5 green chillies (seeded/de-seeded and slit lengthwise)

few curry leaves

1 medium sized tomato sliced/quartered

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 cup thick coconut milk (first extract)

½ cup thin coconut milk (second extract)

1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

oil (preferably coconut oil)


Clean fish nicely with salt and vinegar. Cut it into medium sized pieces. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.

Marinate the cleaned fish with salt, pepper powder and little turmeric powder. Lightly fry the fish for two minutes, flipping it once on both sides. Reserve. This process is optional.

Heat oil in a pan and tip in mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add curry leaves, green chillies, ginger, garlic and onion. Saute until it turns soft and transparent.

Add turmeric powder, salt; stir to mix and add second extract of coconut milk. Hand-squeeze lemon juice and slowly bring it to boil on low-medium heat.

Once oil emanates on top, add the fish. Cover and cook swirling in between. Reduce heat and add tomato, crushed pepper and simmer for a minute or two.

Now, add first extract of thick coconut milk. Do a taste-test and adjust seasonings, if needed. Switch off heat. Allow it to rest for sometime. Serve it with hot steamed rice or appams.




Alleppey which is in Kerala (Southern India) is a beautiful tourist attraction, famous for its picturesque beauty, backwaters and canals.  Alleppey Fish Curry is a traditional fish curry prepared in coconut oil using raw mango and coconut milk. It is also called Paccha Mango Meen Curry or Thenga Paal Meen Curry in malayalam.

Delicious fish curry with the sourness of raw mango, subtle creamy sweetness of coconut milk and spices. A delight to have it with steamed white rice or brown rice.

prep time : 15 mins, cooking time : 15 mins, cuisine : kerala, serves : 8, author : gloria


1 kg King Fish (cut, cleaned & drained)

1 medium sized onion/shallots

1“ ginger sliced/crushed

4 garlic cloves sliced/crushed

3-4 green chillies slit (seeded/de-seeded)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilly powder/cayenne pepper (optional)

2½ tblsp kashmiri chilli powder/paprika

1½ tblsp coriander powder

1 cup – 1st extract of coconut milk (thick)

½ cup – 2nd extract of coconut milk (diluted in water)

1 big raw mango


coconut oil

few curry leaves

Mise en place

1. Clean fish nicely with salt and vinegar. Cut it into medium sized pieces and keep aside.

2. Remove the pit of the raw mango and slice lengthwise.

3. Grate one whole coconut. Placing it in a bowl, add 1/2 cup of hot water and let it stay for 10mins. Grind it in the mixie/FP. Strain and reserve. This is the first extract of the coconut milk which is thick. Repeat process, adding enough water for 2nd extract

3. Slice onions or shallots, crush/slice ginger, crush/slice garlic, slit green chillies


Take a claypot or a deep bottom pan. Tip in oil. Let the oil heat up. Reduce heat and throw in few curry leaves, once it crackles, add green chillies, ginger, garlic and onions/shallots. Stir for sometime. When the onion turns soft, add turmeric, chilly powders, coriander powder. Saute well for few minutes till masalas are cooked, giving a good aroma.

Now add the thin extract of the coconut milk (2nd extract). Once it comes to boil, add the raw mangoes, fish, and salt. Cook covered and allow it to simmer for 10 mins. Swirl the pot occasionally.

When fish is cooked, tip in the 1st extract of coconut milk, drizzle little coconut oil on  top. Swirl and do a taste test; adjust salt accordingly. Switch off heat. Give resting period of 1 hour.

Enjoy with rice!!!!

My observations/notes :

– can use canned coconut milk

– instead of grated coconut, can use frozen coconut

– can use any fish have good amount of flesh

– can adjust spice level as required

– the raw mango used should be sour. in case it is less, a teaspoon of lemon juice can be added.

– once fish is added, do not stir