Fish !

Have you ever had rice served with three kinds of fish curries, two types of fish fries and no less than two other varieties of fish preparations accompanying it ? If you have not, you must time travel to Arthinkal of some 20 years ago. That is what we served to the people we absolutely loved, when they came visiting, in that quaint coastal village, back in the days, etc etc :)

A simple fish curry


Fish, cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch pieces- 2 lbs.

Onion - thinly sliced - 1 ½ cups

Ginger minced - 4 tbsp.

Garlic minced - 2 tbsp.

Curry leaves - 15 nos

Fenugreek - 3/4 tsp.

Green chilies chopped - 1 tbsp. or more if you are using paprika

Kudam puli - 5 nos

Coconut milk - 1 ½ cup

Coconut oil - 2 tbsp.

Salt - to taste

Kashmiri chilly powder or Paprika - 2 1/2 tbsp.

Turmeric - 1tsp

Dry roast fenugreek seeds, grind to a fine powder, keep aside. Soak Kudampuli in water. In a wok, heat oil, add onion and curry leaves, sauté till the pieces are translucent. Add salt, continue to sauté until the onion slices are golden brown. Add ginger, garlic, green chilies, curry leaves and sauté till tender. Add turmeric, stir well. Add the coconut milk and keep sautéing till coconut milk almost completely dries up ( This is the most important step, make sure to stir well  until coconut milk dries up, but be careful not to burn it. At this point you will see oil separating).Add 3 cups of water, chilly powder/paprika and soaked kudampuli to the cooked coconut mixture, mix well. Heat till the gravy starts to boil. Add the fish pieces, cook covered in medium heat for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle with the fenugreek powder. Cover with the lid again and leave it covered for at least 1 hr. before serving

A grape drink

The memory is so vivid that I really don’t know what it is about :) There was a grape juice drink that we used buy from a restaurant in the town where I stayed while in school. We always shared this drink among friends in a dedicated effort to stretch our pocket money. The deep purple juice was always served in a tall glass with a long stemmed spoon in it to help you scoop up the pieces of cooked grapes floating in it. It had a fancy name and also a fancy price. I remember the money we paid, but the name has since left my brain. So here it is, a grape drink!

Cooked grape drink


2 lb. black grapes

1 cup sugar ( or more )

Wash grapes thoroughly, discard stems. Reserve 1 ½ cups of grapes. Keep the rest of the grapes in a sauce pan, pour 6 cups of water or more to cover the grapes. Boil for 5 minutes. Using the back of a ladle crush the grapes, keep boiling for 5 more minutes. Add sugar, cover the pan with a lid, turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add more sugar if needed at this point. Turn off the heat, cool. In a blender set at low speed, blend the cooked grape mixture for just one minute and not more. Using a sieve strain the cooked grape mix. Add two more cups of water to the sieve to rinse the grape skins. Mix the strained juice and store in refrigerator till use (store for up to 2 days refrigerated). Now sit back, relax and peel the reserved grapes. Cut each grape into small pieces. Microwave for 2 minutes, cool. You can clean and peel more grapes if you would like to add more texture to the drink.

Dilute the grape drink with water if needed. To serve , fill a glass 3/4th with the juice, top with 1 tsp. of cooked grape flesh. Alternatively you can serve the drink topped with chopped up grape jello.

Yield ~ 12 cups


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