This one’s for you, Umma..

I’m travelling down the same road you trod before...I pray to God every single day that I do so with as much grace, patience, optimism, and wisdom as you did...Love you, mom!

Umma’s Traditional Fish Curry a.k.a.   Puliyaanam
1.        Seer fish                                           250 gms
2.        Dry red chillies                               5-7
3.       Button onions                                  12-15
4.       Curry leaves                                    5-6
5.       Fenugreek seeds                              a tsp
6.       Turmeric powder                            a tsp
7.       Chilly powder                                  3-4 tbsp
8.       Ginger (crushed)                             1”piece
9.       Peppercorns                                     3-4
10.    Salt                                                   1-2 tsp
11.    Tamarind paste                               a tbsp
12.    Tomato chopped                              1 small
13.    Coconut oil                                      4-5 tbsp
1)      Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan (preferably a clay vessel) Add all ingredients except tamarind paste, tomato and the fish. (ingredients numbered from 2 to 9).
2)       Sauté well on a low flame for 2 minutes.
3)      Add tamarind paste to this, and grind to a thick paste.
ground red chilli paste
   4)Heat the balance coconut oil in the same pan, splutter ½ tsp fenugreek seeds and 5-6 curry leaves.
5)      Add the paste and sauté for a minute till it loses its raw smell.
6)      Add tomato pieces, and fish, stir, and let cook for 5 minutes.
7)      Serve hot or cold.

Some notes:
Fish can be anything, small or big, they will all go well with this masala...
Tamarind paste means dried tamarinds which have been soaked in water for 2 minutes... (you will need about 2-3 tamarinds soaked in ½ cup water for the above recipe)
tamarind paste 
The above recipe when finished, has a thick, pasty consistency, which is the way they make it in my hometown, Kollam...for those who want their fish curry to be a little less thick, just add ½ cup of water …but remember to adjust your salt and chillipowder accordingly..
This curry keeps well for 3-4 days in a clay pot, without any refrigeration whatsoever…the taste keeps getting better each day! But do add a big dollop of coconut oil on top if you are planning to keep it out.


  1. wow Resh That was an emotionaly packed flash back and I am speechless! A daughter's sentiments for the mom.It also took me to my childhood days! Thank you Reshma and If feel proud of my sis.

  2. hey Reshma,

    I truly appreciate your efforts to put up such a wonderful bog..But still I feel it would have been easy to read if you had used some other fonts..Thats just my two cents! you just think about it..'Nywasys' Good Luck!!May God Bless

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  4. Lina..point taken..a couple of other people too had told me the font was nt so am changing it.. hope you like the new font.