Kerala Fish Moilee

  • Time
    30 mins
  • Servings
  • Nutrition
    550 Per Serving

Moilee is a light coconut milk based curry that is popular in the coastal state of Kerala. The dish is unique in that it does not have the typical ingredients that are used in this region like tamarind, cumin, and coriander. It is said to have originated in the colonial era where it was served to the Portuguese who preferred a milder curry to the spicier local version.


Here fish is braised in a rich coconut milk infused with light aromatics. It is usually served with appam, a fermented rice pancake, or idiyappam, which are rice sticks. Enjoy this light and fragrant dish!


Kitchen Tools

  • Large Non-Stick Pan
  • Bowl
  • Oil
  • Salt



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Mix the juice of half a lemon, turmeric, pepper powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and fish together in a bowl. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

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While fish marinates, place the rice noodles in a heat proof bowl and bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the boiling water to the rice sticks and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and drizzle with a little oil so they don’t stick together, like pasta.

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In a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the marinated fish pieces and brown on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

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In the same pan, add the mustard seeds and the curry leaves and toast for 1 minute until the seeds become gray and start popping. Stir in the onions, ginger-garlic paste, and green chili. Saute for 5 minutes. Salt to taste.

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Shake the can of coconut milk well before opening to emulsify the water and cream. Add the coconut milk to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and bring to a simmer.

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Add the fish back into the pan, as well as the tomatoes. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until the tomato skins begin to break and the sauce thickens slightly. Serve fish moilee over rice sticks.

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