Fish Molly

Fish Molly

Fish Molly – One of the favorite seafood dishes of Kerala, especially in Christian cuisines in eastern Kerala. Traditionally made with “perl spot fish” OR karimeen (കരിമീൻ), the fish that is known to be the “king or Kerala’s backwater fish industry”.  The recipe here in my kitchen is a variant of the traditional preparation and also I have used Tilapia instead of karimeen.

The rich spice content along with the aroma of coconut oil, makes this dish a perfect combination for palappam fried rice or ghee rice.


  1. Fish cut in to medium pieces (see picture)               : ½ kg

For marinating:-

  1. Chilli powder      : 1 Tsp
  2. Pepper powder  : 2 Tsp
  3. Turmeric powder              : ½ Tsp
  4. Salt for taste.
  5. Ginger garlic paste           : 1 Tsp

For gravy:-

  1. Onion (chopped)               : 2
  2. Tomato (chopped)           : ¾
  3. Green chilli (chopped)      : 5
  4. Crushed garlic    :  2 Tbsp
  5. Crushed ginger   :  2 Tsp
  6. Kokum (കുടം പുളി)           :    3 pieces
  7. Turmeric powder              : ¼ Tsp
  8. Chilli powder      : 2 Tsp
  9. Coriander powder            : ½  Tsp
  10. Pepper powder  : ½ Tsp
  11. Coconut milk (thin)           : 2 cup
  12. Coconut milk (thick)         : ½ cup
  13. Garam masala    : ½ T sp
  14. Oil          : 3 Tbsp
  15. Curry leaves        : 2 sprig
  16. Salt for taste



  • Marinate the fish with marinating ingredients and keep for minimum 1 hour.
  • In a pan/kadai, fry the marinated fish with enough oil (not specified in ingredients). Only shallow (mild) fry is needed.
  • Keep the fried fish aside.
  • In the same pan, add the oil and sauté the onion along with the ginger, garlic and green chilli and fry until the onion become brown in color.
  • Add the tomato and sauté until the tomato become smashed.
  • Add the chilli, coriander, turmeric and pepper powder and fry it for another 2- 3 minutes or until the raw smell is gone. Add enough salt at this stage. 


  • Add the thin coconut milk along with the kokum, curry leaves and allow it to boil in reduced flame.
  • Once boiled well, add the fried fish and cover the pan with its lid & Wait for another 6 to 7 minutes for cooking.
  • Take the lid off and add the thick coconut milk, swirl gently to mix and allow it to boil.
  • Add the garam masala and swirl to mix again.
  • Once it started boiling switch of the stove. 



After the fish fried if you left with excess oil ,use the same for gravy.

Use coconut oil for the traditional taste.

Quantity of ingredients vary according to individual taste.


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