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Kerala style fish mappas or meen mappas is a Syrian Christian delicacy, also known as Kottayam Style Meen Mappas wherein the fish- usual...


Kerala style fish mappas or meen mappas is a Syrian Christian delicacy, also known as Kottayam Style Meen Mappas wherein the fish- usually a white meat fish - is cooked in creamy coconut milk with tomatoes.

I have used Atlantic Pollock here because I wanted to use a different fish than the usual Pomfret or Tilapia or Butterfish for this dish. It worked absolutely brilliantly, far far better than I had even imagined. It's important to note that patting the fillets dry before cutting into chunks and cooking keeps them whole i.e. they dont disintegrate when making the curry.

The fact that is has coconut and tomatoes makes it an ideal summer curry. It's absolutely delicious with rice but I personally prefer to eat it with Kerala Porotta.

Ingredients
  1. 300 gms Basmati rice
  2. 1 tbsp Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
  3. 2 Large Onions, sliced
  4. 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  5. 450 gms Tomatoes, cut into chunks
  6. 3 tbsp Tikka Curry Paste (Recipe below or just buy ready made)
  7. 400 gms Coconut Milk
  8. Fishvish Pollock Fillets - 500 gms pack, thawed, patted dry and cut into 1½ inch chunks
  9. Coriander Leaves, roughly chopped
Method
  • Put a large saucepan of water on to boil and cook the rice following pack instructions.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, wide saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 5-10 mins until softened and starting to colour. 
  • Add the garlic and tomatoes and fry for 2 mins. 
  • Add the curry paste, fry for 2 mins more, then pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil.
  • Add the fish to the pan and simmer gently for 5-8 mins until just cooked through. 
  • Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the coriander over the curry and serve with the rice.
Tikka Curry Paste Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  2. 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  3. 1 1⁄2 tbsp garlic powder
  4. 2 tbsp paprika
  5. 1 tbsp garam masala
  6. 1 tbsp ground ginger
  7. 2 tsp chili powder
  8. 1⁄2 tsp turmeric
  9. 1 tbsp  dried mint
  10. 1⁄4 tsp salt
  11. 1 tsp lemon juice
  12. 3 drops red food coloring (optional)
  13. 3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
  14. 2⁄3 cup wine vinegar
  15. 2⁄3 cup vegetable oil
Method
  • Grind coriander and cumin seed to a fine powder.
  • Add all remaining spices, mint, salt and stir well.
  • Mix in lemon juice, food color, wine vinegar, and 2 tbs water to make a thin paste.
  • Heat the oil in pan, stir fry paste for 10 minutes until all water is absorbed. 
  • When oil rises to the top, the paste is cooked.
  • Allow to cool before storing in air tight jars.


Bijal Patel
Co-Founder Fishvish
Hardcore food junkie, 
loves to cook for his wife.

The summer is here and Clams go down really well in this heat. Here is a really simple and quick recipe, especially with Fishvish Clam M...


The summer is here and Clams go down really well in this heat. Here is a really simple and quick recipe, especially with Fishvish Clam Meat (since it already all cleaned for you).

Clam Roast Kerala Style goes exceptionally well with Appams or Idiyyapam - just order them if you don't want to make them yourself -  but they really do work well together.

Ingredients
  1. Fishvish Clam Meat - 500 gms
  2. Onion - 2 (large, finely chopped)
  3. Ginger / Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  4. Green Chillis - 3 (chopped fine)
  5. Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) - 6-8
  6. Fennel Powder (Saunf) - 1/2 tsp
  7. Turmeric Powder (Haldi) - 1/2 tsp
  8. Red Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
  9. Black Pepper Powder -2 tsp
  10. Curry Leaves - 3-5
  11. Coconut Oil - 4 tbsp
  12. Salt to taste
Method
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan, splutter fenugreek seeds, add chopped onions, ginger / garlic paste, green chill, curry leaves and saute well.
  • Add all powders and saute some more.
  • Now add the thawed Clam Meat and salt and mix well.
  • Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until it becomes dry and turns a nice brown colour.
  • The Clam Meat Roast is ready! 
  • Serve hot with plain Appam or Idiyappam.
Goes really well with chilled beer too!



Bijal Patel
Co-Founder Fishvish
Hardcore food junkie, 
loves to cook for his wife.

Now this's seriously good eating! Grilled fresh water fish - Himalayan Trout . It's really simple & quick and can be done...


Now this's seriously good eating! Grilled fresh water fish - Himalayan Trout.

It's really simple & quick and can be done in an oven or even on a griddle pan if that's what you really want.

Barbecue or grilling is healthy and when done right just incredibly yummy. Here's a very simple recipe with some Indian spices - just enough to bring out the flavors of the Trout.
  1. 2 Fishvish Himalayan Trout - gutted and washed
  2. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  3. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  5. 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  7. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  8. A pinch of salt
Method:
  • Take the properly gutted and washed Trout and make some some oblique slashes down both sides of the trout - this will help the spice mix penetrate deep into the flesh of the fish.
    • Mix all the ingredients to make the rub.
    • Rub the spice mix all over - in the cavity and into the slashes of both Trout and refrigerate for an hour or so. While the spices do their work light up the barbecue or heat up your grill.
    • Make sure the flames have died down (if its an open flame barbecue) or have the grill turned down to low-medium heat. Lay the Trout on the grill and cook for 8-9 minutes.
    • Remove from the grill, let it rest for a couple minutes before digging in with your hands, it really is the best way to eat this!
    Bon Appétit


    Bijal Patel
    Co-Founder Fishvish
    Hardcore food junkie, 
    loves to cook for his wife.

    Image Credit: Cover Image: Jamie Oliver Grilled Trout

    Seafood has always had a special place in my heart during the summer months. Partly because it brings back memories of the sea - some of ...



    Seafood has always had a special place in my heart during the summer months. Partly because it brings back memories of the sea - some of Bombay growing up but largely of the many days spent crunching through crabs, prawns and lobster on the various beaches of Goa.

    Summer across the world, especially beach-side, has people bringing out their grills and slapping on some "shrimp on the barbi" or barbecuing some lobster tails or whipping up a cracker of crab burger or lobster roll or just kicking back with a nice prawn cocktail to go with some chilled beer.

    Yup definitely need that trip to Goa soon!

    Here are just a few quick recipes for the summer that you can do even if you're not at the beach.

    Grilled Shrimp with Garlic

    Photo By: Matt Armendariz
    Ingredients
    1. 3/4 cup olive oil
    2. 3 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
    3. 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
    4. 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    5. 500gms pack of Fishvish XXL Prawns, thawed and patted dry
    6. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    7. 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    Method
    • Heat the grill to medium.
    • Whisk together 1/4 cup of the oil, 2 tablespoons of the thyme, ancho powder and chopped garlic in a small bowl. Skewer the shrimp and brush with marinade.
    • Place the remaining 1/2 cup of the oil in a small saucepan, add the sliced garlic and cook until the sliced garlic is lightly golden brown. Remove the garlic slices with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve the oil.
    • Increase the heat of the grill to high.
    • Remove the shrimp from the marinade, season with salt and pepper and grill until golden brown on each side, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the skewers, transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the reserved garlic oil and the garlic chips. Sprinkle with the remaining thyme and garnish with oregano leaves.

    The Classic Prawn Cocktail

    The Classic Prawn Cocktail
    This one never fails to disappoint and is among my personal favourites of all time. I had done a post about this quite some time ago, read all about it here.

    Light Lobster Roll

    Photo By: Matt Armendariz
    Super light and absolutely yummy. The light dressing instead of the usual mayo allows the lobster's natural flavours to shine through. Ingredients

    1. 250 gms Fishvish Lobster Meat
    2. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    3. 1 tablespoon mustard sauce or paste - English or Dijon depending on how strong you like it.
    4. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    5. Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    6. 4 slices turkey bacon (I prefer pork bacon but this is healthier, or so I am told), cooked and chopped
    7. 2 whole-wheat hot dog buns, toasted
    8. 1/2 cup baby arugula

    Method

    • Place the lobster meat in a steamer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
    • Remove the meat and dice into bite-size pieces.
    • Mix together the basil, mustard, olive oil and lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. 
    • Add the lobster and turkey bacon and gently toss. 
    • Fill each hot dog roll with a layer of arugula and top with the lobster salad.



    Bijal Patel
    Co-Founder Fishvish
    Hardcore food junkie, 
    loves to cook for his wife.

    Image Credit: Matt Armendariz

    It's a question that is probably discussed to death pretty much all over the shrimp eating world. The opinion is evenly divided for ...



    It's a question that is probably discussed to death pretty much all over the shrimp eating world. The opinion is evenly divided for both points of view. Most frozen shrimp / prawn is usually head and shell off with the tail left on and usually "de-veined". If the shrimp / prawn is head-on shell on, then more often than not, the "vein" would still be in there. This "vein" that we are talking about it is one that runs along top of the shrimp / prawn.

    What is strange and NOT discussed that often is whether or not to "de-vein" the one on the underside of the shrimp / prawn. This is almost always left in. No matter where live you on the planet.

    Why this dichotomy? Well the simple answer is - it doesn't have a gritty mouth feel like the "vein" on the top side of the shrimp / prawn. The more detailed answer what this post is about.

    The top "vein" is actually the Alimentary Canal or intestine that runs along the top of the shrimp, from the mouth of the shrimp all the way down to the tail (where the "bum" is located). On the dorsal side of this "vein" runs the Supra-Intestinal Artery supplying blood (a translucent color so we actually never really see the artery) to the intestine and the abdominal muscles. These are both removed together - they are pretty much stuck to one another so when one is removed the other comes with it.

    Anatomy of a Crustacean
    Given the shrimps' method of eating, a lot sand (if sea catch) or mud (if pond catch) goes in with the food. Some of it gets flushed, some of it just sits there in the intestine when the shrimp is caught or harvested. Some poop might be left in as well. The sand/mud is what gives us a gritty mouth feel and the poop can add a slightly bitter after-taste to food. So the two main reasons for removing these are really just that - we DO NOT wanna eat poop and the sand/mud texture in the mouth is terrible. Also, leaving the "vein" in increases the risk of the shrimp going bad faster as poop will decay quicker.

    These are too small to "devein".
    It's important to note here that only 50% of the people actually remove this! The shrimp is eaten as is! I have personally eaten shrimp both ways and maybe I've been lucky, but I have not been able to tell the difference. Do I "devein" shrimp when I cook? Yes, I remove the intestine every time IF its possible i.e. the size of the shrimp has to be large enough to do that. I mean if I'm making a Prawn Fried Rice and using tiny shrimp (100-200 per kg) there is no way I am going to sit and spend hours doing this delicate procedure when I can barely hold on to the little fellas! I mean really, it's hard enough to get them outta their shells!

    That brings us to the bottom "vein". 
    • Its NOT a vein
    • Its NOT an artery
    • Its NOT part of the digestive tract
    • Its NOT cartilage 
    What the devil is it then? 

    Its the Central Nervous System of the shrimp - the main nerve cord! 

    It runs along the dorsal or underside of the shrimp. Unlike most mammals, shrimp / prawns do not have a spine to protect the central nerve. The shell and legs perform that function.

    Nowhere in the world will frozen shrimp that is labelled "de-veined" ever have this removed. In India, even our local fishmonger never removes this until specifically asked to and then too she/he will probably make a fuss about it. I have never ever removed and I do not personally know any one, in my circle of friends and family, who remove it. Why?
    1. It does NOT contain poop
    2. It does NOT contain blood
    3. It does NOT have any sand/mud in it and therefore NO gritty mouth feel.
    Peeled & Deveined Prawns from Fishvish
    With the shrimp / prawns Fishvish sells, the top "vein" is always removed. The bottom never removed. This is a process followed by every shrimp processing factory in the world! We source all our products from such export factories and they all follow mandated processes that are certified by not only India's FDA but also USFDA, EU FDA, Australia FDA and Japan's equivalent to the FDA.

    Deveining the bottom vein.
    In closing, I'd like to say that, yes, the top "vein", at least India, is usually removed by the overwhelming majority. The bottom one - almost always NEVER removed. It's pretty much cosmetic anyway and I haven't seen even high end, fine dine restaurants remove this bottom "vein" either. Still, its a personal choice and those that like to remove it, it's simple enough - make a shallow cut along the bottom length and use a toothpick or the pointy end of a knife to pull the "vein" out. Just be careful, it's delicate and will break easily. 

    Don't let something that's so trivial stop you from enjoying your shrimp / prawns. Even if you're not buying them from Fishvish!


    Bijal Patel
    Co-Founder Fishvish
    Hardcore food junkie, 
    loves to cook for his wife.

    Chicken, goat meat and seafood are a big part of most of our traditions. Whether as foods that are typically eaten during the festive seas...

    Chicken, goat meat and seafood are a big part of most of our traditions. Whether as foods that are typically eaten during the festive season or for their symbolic meaning, their cultural significance is undeniable. Weddings, feasts, celebrations, religious occasions, often feature fish and poultry. Here are some such traditions from across the globe that are incomplete without a fish, chicken or mutton offering:


    1. Fish during Friday fast

    As a religious custom, various Christian denominations fast on Friday. This fast consists of a diet that includes fish. Christians abstain from eating meat on Fridays as penance for the crucifixion of Christ. However, although the meat of a warm-blooded animal is not allowed they are permitted to eat cold-blooded fish. Some say that this is because of the ‘miraculous catch of fish’ incident in which Jesus blessed his disciples with a large catch of fish. While few others are of the view that this custom was inherited from the Jewish community as they believe that God created fish on the fifth day of the week. Irrespective what the reason was that led to this tradition, Friday Fast is now closely associated with the consumption of fish in the Christian community.

    Fish fillet works well during the Friday Fast.


    2. Fish as a Bengali wedding tatta

    Like with most other communities, gift giving between the families of the bride and the groom is a common practice during Bengali weddings. This custom is known as tatta. One of the gifts presented as a part of this custom is a Rohu fish. The fish is decorated like a bride and presented along with the other items of the tatta. Since Bengalis love their fish it is only natural that it should be a part of one of the most important events of their life, their marriage ceremony. Symbolically speaking,is also considered auspicious by Bengalis.

    What better gift than a fish!


    3. Oysters during the holiday season in France

    The French love to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve with oysters. They enjoy oysters all year round, however, during the holiday season, it becomes one of the important features of their festive feasts. Hence a LOT of oysters are consumed during this time. The exact number of oysters that are eaten in the country during this time is not confirmed but some estimate it to be way over fifty percent of their annual consumption. Oysters are a big part of French culture hence feature in most of their traditional celebrations.

    Oysters: a French gourmet delight!


    4. Feast of the seven fishes

    Like everything else that they do, Italians fast in style. Come Christmas Eve, Italian-Americans cook a feast that features seven (more or less) seafood dishes. As mentioned earlier, Christians fast during certain days that have a religious significance. And, fish is a part of their fast. This could have led to this tradition of eating seafood specialities on Christmas Eve. This grand seafood affair is known as La Vagilia di Natale or FestadeiSettePesci in Italian. Cod fish, shrimp, squid, scallops, anchovy, clams, mussels, sardines, lobster, one can make dishes with these or any other seafood. This tradition perhaps originated because seven is a biblical number.

     A seafood feast fit for a king.


    5. Pickled herring during Christmas in Finland

    Pickled herring is a popular dish in Northern Europe. Each country uses a different set of ingredients to add flavour to the herring after curing it. The most common method involves using vinegar, salt, onions and sugar. To this mix, a combination of spices like pepper, clove, bay leaves, fennel seeds, star anise can be added. This herring is traditionally had during Christmas and Easter in Scandinavian countries as well as their neighbours like Poland and other countries that were formerly Soviet states.

    Pickled herring is a widespread Christmas tradition in Europe.


    6. Lutefisk during Christmas in Norway

    Lutefisk is a Norwegian fish dish that is made with dried cod. It is a lengthy process that requires the fish to be first dried then rehydrated before it is cooked. Like with most other traditions, there are many myths and tales surrounding how this preparation originated. One such story is that ages ago some Vikings after looting a fishing village set the place on fire. The surviving villagers put the fire out by pouring water on everything. This included the wooden racks on which they had hung cod to dry. Later, it rained and the ash-covered fish absorbed that rainwater.  This is how the villagers discovered this new recipe for making cod. 

    Norwegians everywhere customarily enjoy lutefisk during Christmas celebrations. 


    7. Minangkabau Mutton Rendang

    The Minangkabau community in Indonesia is responsible for giving us this yummy recipe. This Indonesian favourite has also made its way to Malaysia and Thailand and is now a bonafidespeciality of Southeast-Asian cuisine. This mutton dish requires a fairly long preparation time and is made by slow cooking the meat in coconut milk and a special spice mix. The Rendang has long been a favourite at all Minangkabau festivals and celebrations. It also is one of the main dishes that are served at weddings in Malaysia.

    The rendang is a semi-dry curry.


    8. Chicken Hallaca during Christmas in Venezuela

    This dish is popular in most South American countries. Chicken along with some vegetables and other meats like pork are used as a filling in a cornmeal wrapping that is covered and tied together with a string in a banana leaf and then cooked. Each culture has their own special method and set of ingredients for making this dish. In Venezuela, although every region and family have their own take on this recipe, typically onions, capers, olives and raisins are used with chicken and pork for the stuffing. It is a Christmas tradition to celebrate with Hallaca in Venezuela.

    Hallaca is like a dumpling.


    9. Christmas herring in Lithuania

    In Lithuania, they celebrate Christmas with not one but multiple herring dishes. Herring with carrots, herring with potatoes, herring with beet, herring with mushrooms, any of these dishes and/or some other herring offerings are traditionally a part of the Christmas Eve spread. 

    The more herring the better!


    10. Fish during Chinese New Year

    The Chinese New Year, which is based on the lunar calendar, is a two-week long celebration. On New Year’s Eve, families come together for a grand meal. This feast is known as the reunion dinner. At this dinner, a variety of dishes that are a part of the Chinese culinary tradition and are considered to be auspicious are served. Fish, of course, is one of them. Fish is served as it meant to bring good luck and prosperity. It is an important custom to not consume the entire fish and leave some of it as that conveys the wish for a surplus in the coming year.

    Fish symbolises prosperity.


    11. KoshaMangsho during Durga Puja

    Back home, in Bengal, India, Durga Puja is celebrated with a special goat meat preparation that is known as koshamangsho. This mangsho is slow cooked with a combination of spices. It is eaten with either luchis (puris made from maida) or rice. All Bengalis and Bengali food aficionados know that this is dish is not be missed during the festival at the pandals.

    Bengali mutton curry: A Durga Puja delicacy.


    12. Fish soup and fried carp during Christmas in the Czech Republic

    The Czech Republic celebrates Christmas with two main fish dishes. Traditionally, on Christmas Eve, fish soup and fried carp are served with potato salad, bread and cookies. This custom is supposed to be fairly new as it is said to have started not before the nineteenth century. However, since then it isn’t a Christmas feast in a Czech household unless they have carp and fish soup.

    Czech traditional Christmas fish soup


    There are many such traditions, small and big, in different parts of the world that include seafood, chicken and mutton as a custom. Even ones like having chicken broth when one is down with a cold is a practice that many people indulge in. Whether it is because the soup cures the cold or just provides comforts the fact is that a large number of people like to have it when they are suffering from the sniffles. Similarly, each household, community, culture and country has such practices that are centredaround fish, goat meat and poultry. For example, in mobster language, receiving a dead fish from another mobster means you are done! Irrespective of what the exact tradition is the fact is that these foods have a symbolic significance that cuts across all cultures. 


    - The Fishvish Team