Coconut Fish Curry (Meen Molee)

This recipe (as well as the three side dishes posted below) were in the current issue of the Observer Food Monthly. Looks good in the photograph doesn’t it? A succulent pan-fried fillet of bass sitting on a vibrant dish of coconut curry and scattered with various decorative bits of shrubbery not mentioned in the list of ingredients. If you cook this (and it IS delicious and highly recommended), bear in mind it will look nothing like the photograph in the magazine – which seems to be a different dish entirely.

Coconut Fish Curry

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Serves: 4


  • 4 fillets of sea bream or bass
  • 2 medium onions – finely chopped
  • 6 green chillies – slit lengthways
  • 3 cloves of garlic – finely sliced
  • 30 curry leaves
  • coconut milk – 400 ml
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • oil – 30 ml

Mix 1 tsp salt with 1 tsp turmeric and rub into the fish fillets.
In a deep frying pan heat the oil and sauté the onions, chillies and garlic. Add 20 of the curry leaves and continue cooking until the onions are translucent.

Add the coconut milk along with the rest of the salt and turmeric and heat through. Add the fish and simmer gently until cooked.

Meanwhile, fry the remaining curry leaves and use as a garnish.

Verdict: A lovely rich and luxurious dish with coconut sweetness and subtle spiciness. There is no reason why you couldn’t use a cheaper white fish.
Drink: See below.

Entertainment: See below.

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