Meen Moiley

Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

A traditional fish stew from the South Indian state of Kerala. —Aysha | The Malabar Tea Room

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Aysha lives in Kerala, India where she and her mother write the blog, The Malabar Tea Room.
WHAT: A traditional, coconut-based Indian fish stew with a bite.
HOW: Marinate sea bass filets in turmeric, lime juice, and chile powder, then sauté onions with fragrant spices like ginger, garlic, and green chiles. Cook the onions and sea bass in a mixture of water and vinegar, then add coconut and curry leaves before serving. Finish with a squeeze of lime for one more burst of flavor.
WHY WE LOVE IT: While "Hot fish stew!" does not usually make us run to the test kitchen as quickly as fresh cookies do, this one caught our attention: The fragrant curry and ginger drew us over, the bright yellow broth hooked us in, and the tender sea bass made us reach for second helpings. —The Editors

  • Serves 2
  • For the marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the curry:
  • 250 grams fresh sea bass fillets, cut into 2-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 green chiles, cut lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • one 1-inch piece ginger, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 small tomato, cut lengthwise
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • A squeeze of lime
In This Recipe
  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade, then rub onto the fillets. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, wide pan or wok over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until light brown. Add the chiles, garlic, and ginger and sauté for another few minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Next, add the flour and sauté until combined. Pour in the water, vinegar, and turmeric and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add fish, tomato, and salt. Cover and cook for about 7 minutes, or until fish is cooked.
  5. Add the coconut milk and curry leaves. Bring to a boil again and turn off the heat. Add a squeeze of lime right before serving. Serve hot.

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An Indian food-writer with a penchant for cookbooks with obscure ingredients, Aysha spends most of her time adapting recipes from the world over in her small-town south-Indian kitchen with her mother, and recording the successful experiments at When not tinkering about in the kitchen, she can be found reading up on possible Game of Thrones theories that will bring back Jon Snow.