Meatless Monday in Kerala

Feb 2015

Finding vegetarian fare in India is remarkably easy.  I should clarify that term by saying I am of the the pescatarian variety, but have never had a problem eating delicous meals during my 6 visits to this wonderful country. This includes territory as far north as the heritage village of Pragpur all the way south to the sleepy town of Thekkady.  Learning during my travels that some of the earliest recorded history of vegetarianism comes from India in the 6th century BC wasn’t that surprising. There are over 200 million vegetarians in the country, more than anywhere else in the world. This meal, prepared for us on a spice plantation in the hills was up near the top for a Meatless Monday in Kerala.

Barramundi Fish cooked in A Banana Leaf

You can find banana leaves in some specialy food markets, but i’ve adapted it so you can make it in a dutch oven.
2 lbs Barramundi or other firm white fish than can be cut into chunks
1 onion thinly sliced
1 clove garlic
2 c. Coconut milk { light version is fine}
1 t. Curry powder
1 chile { choose the chile depending on how hot you like it- it will remain whole]}
One sliced tomato
Jasmine or basmati rice for 4
4 cardamom pods

Sauté onions and halved garlic in 1 T. coconut oil for 10 minutes. Add curry powder and stir to coat the onions. Add wholechile and coconut milk and simmer gently for 10 minutes to bring the flavors together. Add chunks of fish and cook for additional 15 minutes or until fish is fork tender. Place sliced tomato on top before serving.
Serve over rice to which 4 cardamom pods has been added in cooking. Remove pods before serving.
I think you could add sliced carrot rounds or broccoli to the coconut milk if you wanted to make it a full meal.

Serves 4

We were served the most wonderful spongey bread with the fish and our host promised it is easy to make. Appam is a type of southern Indian pancake made with ingredients of rice flour and coconut oil. I’ll let you know how it turns out after I give it a try.

  1. karilyn says:

    How much coconut oil do you use? I see the coconut milk in the recipe, but not the oil. Can you use another oil? We lived in India for 10 years and now after 3 year away i’m dying for Indian flavored foods.. so I will try this!

    • alison says:

      How Karilyn-you use about 1 T. Just enough to coat the pan when sautéing the onions. Any oil will do, but the coconut does add some flavor.Good luck and let me know how you make out!