This is usually a fiery looking fish preparation with a rich red gravy. For many people this can be a hot dish because of the chilies. We use cocum for the inimitable flavour that is the trademark of this dish. Every Kerala housewife makes this regularly. I have made it rather mild for a change. This goes well with rice. We also have it with cassava. —pauljoseph
Soak the cocum in ½ cup water with salt
Soak the chili powder with turmeric in ½ cup water
Heat the coconut oil in a ‘chatty’ (earthen pot with lid)
Add the fenugreek and sliced onions, sauté light brown; add the chili paste
Cook on low flame for few minutes and add the ginger garlic paste
Cook for a further few minutes
When the oil separates, add the soaked cocum along with its liquid.
Bring to boil.
Place the fish pieces in the gravy, sprinkle the curry leaves and bring to boil
Reduce flame, cover and cook on very low flame for 15 to 20 minutes
May be served warm or cold