Fish Molee / Molly / Moilee – Kerala Style Fish Stew

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Fish Molee (sometimes spelled as Fish Molly or Fish Moilee) is a delicately flavored fish stew made using fried fish, coconut milk, and other spices. This dish marks the foreign influence (especially of the Portuguese) on the cuisine of Kerala.

Any fish can be used to prepare this dish. But most commonly, Seer Fish, Pomfret, Pearl Spot are used. It is best served with Appam, Idiyappam, Bread and even Rice.


  1. Any thick-fleshed fish – 1/2 kg, cleaned and cut into medium sized pieces
  2. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  3. Pepper powder – 1 tsp
  4. Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  5. Onion – 2 medium sized, sliced thin
  6. Tomato – 2 medium sized, sliced
  7. Green chillies – 4 to 6, slit lengthwise (adjust according to your taste)
  8. Ginger – 1″ piece, finely chopped
  9. Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves, finely chopped
  10. Thick coconut milk – 1 cup
  11. Thin coconut milk – 2 cups
  12. Garam masala – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  13. Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  14. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  15. Coconut oil – As required
  16. Salt – As required


  1. Mix together 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp pepper powder, lemon juice and some salt.
  2. Add fish pieces to the marinade. Mix well and keep it aside for at least 1/2 hour.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Shallow fry the fish pieces till half cooked. Keep it aside.
  4. Heat oil in an earthenware (Meenchatti). Splutter mustard seeds.
  5. Add sliced onions and cook it translucent.
  6. Add ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Saute well.
  7. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp pepper powder, garam masala and salt.
  8. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute or two. No need to make the tomatoes mushy.
  9. Add thin coconut milk. Let it boil.
  10. Add the half fried fish pieces. Take care not to stir the curry with a ladle. Instead, rotate the pot occasionally.
  11. When the fish is cooked, lower the flame and add thick coconut milk.
  12. When it starts boiling, switch off the flame.
  13. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with Appam, Bread, Chapthi or Rice.

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