Friday, October 23, 2009

Fish in Coconut Milk Gravy (Meen Thikathiyathu)

Karimeen (pearl spot) cooked with raw mangoes and coconut milk (karimeen thikathiyathu) was a favourite dish back home. Ideally this recipe requires pearl spots and fresh sour mangoes. Since fresh pearl spots are not available here in US, I substituted it with tilapia fillets and tomatoes instead of mangoes. You could also use tomatillos.


  • Tilapia fillets - 1 lb (cut into pieces)

  • Onion - 1 medium (cut lengthwise)

  • Ginger - 1-1 1/2 inch (thinly sliced)

  • Garlic - 2-3 big cloves (thinly cut)

  • Tomato - 1 medium(thinly sliced)

  • Green chillies - 5-6 (slit lengthwise)

  • Coconut milk - 1 can or Coc. milk powder4-5 tbsp

  • Corriander powder -3tsp

  • Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp

  • Red chilli powder -1tsp

  • Salt

  • Curry leaves

  • Vinegar (optional)

  • Oil

  • water


  • In a hot pan heat 2-3 tbsp of oil.

  • Splutter mustard seeds, saute onions, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and green chillies until the onions are light brown in colour.

  • Reduce the flame, put all the powders stir for 2-3 minutes in low flame (so that you wont burn it).

  • Add tomatoes, increase the flame saute for almost 5-6 minutes. (If you are adding mangoes you can add mangoes at this time)

  • Pour 1 cup of water, put salt and bring it to boil.

  • Once it starts boiling put the fish and let it boil for 6-8 minutes.

  • Bring the heat to medium, pour coconut milk, mix it gently and cover the pan with a lid. Keep for 20 minutes.

  • Check the salt and add vinegar (1 or 2 tsp for extra sourness if required).

  • Serve hot with rice.


Freshly squeezed coconut milk gives an authentic taste.
If using coconut milk powder make it a paste with minimum amount of water so that no lumps are formed and later on add more water.
Fresh ginger garlic can be substituted with ginger garlic paste.