South India Recipes – Meen Moilee (Fish in Fragrant Coconut Milk)

South India Recipes - Meen Moilee (Fish in Fragrant Coconut Milk)


  • Fish in fragrant coconut milk
  • White fish like monkfish, sear fish or cod – filleted and cut into 1 inch cubesFor the Sauce:
  • 1 medium sized white onion
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • Knob of ginger
  • 2 green chillies
  • Fresh curry leaves
  • Coconut milk (thin and thick)
  • Fresh tomato

For the marinade:

  • Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Fresh lime


First you need to marinade the fish. Rinse the diced fish chunks, squeeze off the excess water and place the fish in a bowl add one teaspoon of turmeric powder and a large pinch of salt. Squeeze one lime over the fish and mix. Leave to marinade for 25 minutes.

In the meantime thinly slice ½ onion. Peal 5-6 cloves of garlic and crush with the back of a knife. Do not chop, as crushing will give the curry a better flavour. Seed 2 green chillies. Peal the fresh ginger root with the back of a teaspoon and slice finely.

Heat the oil in a deep saucepan over a medium gas flame until seriously hot, but not burning.Add the chilli, ginger and garlic, onions and curry leaf to the oil. The curry leaf must be added in at the beginning so the flavours can infuse with the other ingredients.

Stir lightly until onions are transparent.

Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder

Add enough thin coconut milk to cover the ingredients in the pan. Do not add the thick coconut milk yet, as it will curdle.

Add the fish and a pinch of salt.

Bring to the boil and turn the heat down and simmer for 6-7 minutes until cooked.

Add the quartered tomato. Do not add tomatoes at the beginning as they are acidic and will cause the curry to curdle.

Garnish with sliced tomatoes and serve with Boiled or steamed white rice

Serves 4