Fried fish Moilee

Meen Moilee or fish moilee is a traditional yet popular preparation of Kerala. As Kerala is a coastal region and has abundance of seafood, there are varieties of preparations with fish. This one in particular is usually made with Seer fish, pomfret or pearlspot. You may use other fish fillets like Sea bass. This is a very simple dish with a mild flavor of coconut as it is simmered in coconut milk. Traditionally, we do not fry the fish for this preparation. However, in our family recipe we shallow fry the fish before adding it to the curry as it imparts a different flavor than usual.

You can enjoy this curry with steamed rice or chapatis.

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4 people
Author: Anupama Prem


  • 4 nos Fish fillets
  • 3 nos Onions sliced medium sized
  • 1 tbsp Ginger chopped
  • 2 tbsp Garlic chopped
  • 5-6 nos Green chillies slit
  • 2 nos Tomatoes chopped medium
  • 2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Chilly powder
  • 1 tbsp Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 5-6 nos Curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil
  • 1 cup Thin coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Thick coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice


  • Make a paste using 1 tsp turmeric powder, salt, chilly powder, pepper powder and lemon juice. Marinate the fish fillets in this spice mix for 15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a skillet and shallow fry the fillets until lightly brown on both sides. Keep them aside.
  • To the remaining oil, add the sliced onions, salt and green chillies. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the chopped garlic and ginger and saute for another minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft.
  • Add the turmeric powder and stir for a minute and add the thin coconut milk.
  • Add the curry leaves, fried fish and simmer after covering with a lid. Cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the garam masala, pepper powder and stir well before you check the seasoning. Add the thick coconut milk at this point. 
  • Ensure that the curry is not boiled after adding the thick milk as it would get curdled. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

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