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Fish Molly or mollie

Kerala fish molly (stew) is a traditional dish prepared with fish mainly King fish, Shear fish, promfret, red sanpper or any fish steak mixed with rich coconut milk. Extremely tasty although not being spicy. Can be served with appam, iddiappam, puttu and even rice. To enjoy the sweet taste of this dish follow the preparation instruction.


  • About 1 ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 lb (450g) fish steaks or fillets, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 4 Tbs. coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium large red onion finely sliced
  • 6 fresh hot green chilies finely sliced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely shredded
  • About 30 fresh curry leaves, if available
  • 7 fl oz (1 cup) coconut milk, well stirred from a can or fresh
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice


Mix ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the turmeric together.
Rub over the fish. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large wide, non-stick pan or wok over a medium heat.
When hot add the onion, chilies and ginger. Stir once or twice.
Add the curry leaves.
Stir and fry for three to four minutes until the onion is soft.
Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 5 fl oz (3/4 cup) water. Mix well.
When the mixture boils add the fish.
Spoon the sauce over the fish. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat down.
Cover and simmer for four to five minutes, spooning the sauce over the fish and shaking the pan gently to prevent sticking.
Add the coconut milk, shake pan and add more salt if needed. Cover and simmer for a further three to four minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
Add the lime juice. Shake again and remove from the heat, then serve.

Alternate Recipe


  • 12 fillets of pomfret or red snapper
  • 2 tbs (30 ml) coconut oil
  • 1 tsp (5 g) mustard seeds
  • 8 flakes (16 g) garlic, chopped fine
  • 2.5 cm ginger, julienne
  • 6 green chillies, slit lengthwise, deseeded and julienne
  • 150 g onions, sliced into rings
  • salt to taste
  • 24 curry leaves
  • 3 (225 g) tomatoes, cut into 8 slices each
  • 1/2 tsp (2 g) turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk (third extract)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) coconut milk (second extract)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) coconut milk (first extract)
  • 1 tbs (15 ml) lemon juice


Heat oil in a pan and season with mustard seeds. Stir over medium heat until they begin to splutter. Add garlic and ginger and stir for a minute.

Add green chillies and stir lightly. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and glossy. Add turmeric powder and stir well.

Add fish and the third extract of coconut milk. Bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, turning carefully once, for three minutes. Add salt and stir well.

Add curry leaves, tomatoes and the second extract. Cover and simmer for three minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and gently (to make sure that the fillets do not break) stir-in the first extract of coconut milk. Return the pan to heat and bring to a boil over low heat.

Sprinkle lemon juice and stir carefully.

Remove from heat and adjust the seasoning Remove to a bowl and serve with steamed rice.

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