Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lepo Losun Miri (Sole/Tongue Fish in a Spicy Garlic & Pepper Curry)

The advantage of living along the Coast is that you get to eat plenty of fish. While many of my friends here in Mumbai wonder how I can eat 'non veg' daily, for us fish eating Mangaloreans, Fish is Fish...c'mon! Non vegetarian is rest of the stuff that has a beak & feathers or walks on fours :D I am sure die hard fish loving Mangies, Mallus, Goans and Bongs will agree with me, that Fish is a delicacy as well as a staple. And thank God that both of these are in abundant supply in our sunny lands!

Midmorning on a normal weekday, if you happen to drop in to any Mangalorean fish eating household, you are most likely to find the lady of the house (or a maid) busy cleaning fish for the afternoon meal. Typically an 'Adhalo' was and is still used to clean fish. It is an apparatus which involves a long thin strip of very low wooden stool to which a sickle is fixed to one end. Old ladies who complain of 'ganti-dhook' (knee pain) grumble and still perform the brilliant task of cleaning fish guts whilst seated on this throne. But today, women like me prefer to invest in a good pair of kitchen scissors to do the job in a jiffy. Its so hassle free, I wonder why the 'Adhalo' was ever invented! (I know that's so cheeky of me). But the olden generation swear by it, so I guess we should let it be :-)

If you visit any of the well stocked fish markets in Mangalore you will hear almost every fisherwoman crying hoarse - "Bangde bale, boothai bale" meaning to say "I've got Mackerel & Sardines on offer, hurry up!". My favourite 'Lepo' however was sold by a few random fisher women. It comes under the category of 'good fish' which can be eaten by those recovering from illnesses, pregnant women, new moms or those with special diet requirements. They say Lepo is not 'nanji' - this term has no real meaning in English although the best I can explain is to say that it doesn't cause any real problems if you eat it. All Mangaloreans are familiar with this term i.e if you are the active fish eating type.

This delicate fish tastes great in a curry or even when fried. I love it both ways. Just remember not to overcook it. In Mumbai we get the larger variety than in Mangalore and so most times we end up frying them - the flesh is gorgeous and my son loves it. Cleaning this fish is not as difficult as it appears but involves minor skill to peel off the skin which is a de-scaling technique by itself. So next time you find 'Lepo' in your fish market, don't hesitate to buy some. I promise you, you'll love it!

Lepo Losun Miri
(Printable Recipe)

Serves: 4
This curry can be made with prawns too


You Need
  • 500gms or 4-5 large ones Tongue Fish(also called as 'Lep' in Marathi & 'Nang' in Tulu)
For the masala:
  • 6-7 long dry red chillies (to increase the quantity of the gravy you can add extra 2 chillies without seeds - just the skin)
  • 6-7 peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp haldi
  • 1/2 tsp jeera
  • 1 small ball of tamarind/1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1-2 tbsp grated coconut (optional - not part of the recipe but add it if you want extra gravy)* see note below
For the shindap (items to be sauted before adding the masala)
  • 8 cloves garlic with skin - mashed up slightly (do not slice or chop)
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • oil for frying
  • salt to taste
Method
1. Remove the skin, scales and the frilly edges of the fish, clean in salt water, rinse and allow to drain. Cut large ones into 2 pieces. If you are using small Lepos, leave them whole
2. Grind all the ingredients for the masala to a fine paste.
3. In a wide bottomed pan (as Lepos are long and tender, so use a large pan to avoid them from breaking) heat some oil and fry the 8 cloves of garlic and toss in the sliced onion. Fry for about a minute till they turn golden (not too brown)
4. Add the ground masala and fry it for about 2 minutes on a slow flame. Add some water to the mixie and use this water to be added to the masala. Add sufficient water to make a medium thin gravy (not too thin). Add salt and check the taste. Make any changes before you add the fish.
5. Bring the gravy to a boil - for about 1/2 a minute and then gently add the fish pieces and simmer for another minute, not more as fish tends to overcook and will continue to cook even when the flame has been turned off
6. Serve hot with piping hot boiled rice or white rice

Note: The grated coconut is not part of the authentic way of making this curry, however, with the remaining ingredients, one gets very little quantity of 'kadi'/gravy and if you are the type who loves your rice drenched in gravy. then you can either add the coconut (which ofcourse reduces the spice factor) or 1/2 an onion (which slightly increases the spiciness)

24 comments:

  1. Just love fish curries. This one looks so tempting!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Slurp,mouthwatering here...salivating..

    ReplyDelete
  3. hi,
    my mouth is watering looking @ the fish curry.Back home my mom prepares the curry with this fish,but here no such chance.
    I think i can do the same curry with mackerel.Right??
    Can you give me the name of fish in konkani and same in english.A request,please
    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sharada, thank u so much! This curry can be made with other fish such as Kane (lady fish) or Rawas, Pomfret too. Im not sure about Mackerel. Which name do you want in Konkani and English? Lepo or Lepe is the name in Konkani and in English it;s called Tongue Fish. Or did you mean which other fish can be used for this curry?

    ReplyDelete
  5. This looks beautiful.. So tempting :) Will try it soon..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Mehjabeen! Do let me know how it turned out!

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow looks so delicious..
    first time to ur blog ...
    u hav a gr8 space...
    drop by my blog when u gettime..
    www.sharemyrecipe.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you chitra! Will check ur blog too!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Shireen,

    have been enjoying your blog! Any chance U have the recipe to kane curry in a peppery masala..looks brown even..my grandma used to make it years ago!!!!

    Shirley.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Shirley, thanks a lot for the compliment. I think you are talking about Kane Jeere Miri which looks slightly brownish, I do have the recipe in my mum's book, have tried it before the blog was started, I will definitely try it out once more & upload the recipe soon!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amazing blog..Everything Mangalorean. Keep going...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tried this one yesterday...turned out amazing..Thanks a lot for the mouthwatering recipe

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks a lot Ms Quote & Jenifer! Glad you tried & liked it Jenifer!

    ReplyDelete
  14. hi shireen ur recipes r amazing...ur doing a wonderful job by posting these blogs..mangalorean recipes (authentic one's ) are not easy to find and young people like us who have just started cooking search the net for everything v prepare..thanks alot....people like u make r lives so much easier

    ReplyDelete
  15. hi shireen...thanks for ur recipe i have a doubt?? is this fish even called " adey meen " cause i used to have this fish always in the restaurants when i was studying in Mangalore but now that I am in Dubai i need the English name for it which i dont seem to find..can u please clarify??? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Shiri, thanks so much for your compliments, glad that my blog is of help to you. Lepo is a name in Konkani and in Tulu it is called Nang. What you refer to as Adey Meen is actually called Sondhalo in Konkani. Here is a list I have compiled with most popular fish names in both their local names (Konkani & Tulu) and English names. Please check the 'Somethin Fishy' tab on my home page

    http://ruchikrandhap.blogspot.com/p/somethin-fishy.html

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm gonna try this today, I love all your recipes, they are so accurate and awesome. By the way in New Zealand big lepo fish are sold by the name of Flounder.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks a ton Renee!! Glad u liked the recipes. Do try & let me know :) Yes, I will add the name of the fish

    ReplyDelete
  19. I absolutely loved this recipe! I used to always tawa fry lepo but this is such a healthy way of eating my fav fish and so tasty :) thanks shireen - I am glad I found your blog !
    Suprita

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks so much for your feedback Suprita!!! So glad you enjoyed the lepo curry :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Shireen,

    I would like to know if Kane fish is good for pregnancy... I would also appreciate if you could help me in knowing which fish is good during pregnancy... I tried surfing the net for the same but confused..

    Thanks in advance,
    Natasha

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Natasha,

    Most white fish is considered good during pregnancy so you can have Kane, White Pomfret and King Fish (Surmai) provided it doesn't cause gas and bloating. Erli and sardines are also good as sardines are rich in Omega 3. Do avoid fish that is high in mercury like King Mackarel, Shark, Catfish and other crustaceans like crab, prawn, lobster etc. It's best to consult your doctor and ask him/her which one in the above list is suitable for you. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Shireen,

    Love your work. We rely on your recipes a lot. Keep it up.

    I'm writing to ask you about lepes. Where in Bombay can one buy these? A friend of mine in New Bombay is desperate to get his hands on some, regardless of which part of the city they are in. Be good if you can let me know (I myself am in Madras).

    Regards,
    A

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ Al: Thanks so much! In Bombay you can buy lepo (called as sole fish in English) at any market. I used to buy them at the 4 bungalows fish market and at Andheri (W) fish market too...hope your friend is able to find them!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lepo Losun Miri (Sole/Tongue Fish in a Spicy Garlic & Pepper Curry)

The advantage of living along the Coast is that you get to eat plenty of fish. While many of my friends here in Mumbai wonder how I can eat 'non veg' daily, for us fish eating Mangaloreans, Fish is Fish...c'mon! Non vegetarian is rest of the stuff that has a beak & feathers or walks on fours :D I am sure die hard fish loving Mangies, Mallus, Goans and Bongs will agree with me, that Fish is a delicacy as well as a staple. And thank God that both of these are in abundant supply in our sunny lands!

Midmorning on a normal weekday, if you happen to drop in to any Mangalorean fish eating household, you are most likely to find the lady of the house (or a maid) busy cleaning fish for the afternoon meal. Typically an 'Adhalo' was and is still used to clean fish. It is an apparatus which involves a long thin strip of very low wooden stool to which a sickle is fixed to one end. Old ladies who complain of 'ganti-dhook' (knee pain) grumble and still perform the brilliant task of cleaning fish guts whilst seated on this throne. But today, women like me prefer to invest in a good pair of kitchen scissors to do the job in a jiffy. Its so hassle free, I wonder why the 'Adhalo' was ever invented! (I know that's so cheeky of me). But the olden generation swear by it, so I guess we should let it be :-)

If you visit any of the well stocked fish markets in Mangalore you will hear almost every fisherwoman crying hoarse - "Bangde bale, boothai bale" meaning to say "I've got Mackerel & Sardines on offer, hurry up!". My favourite 'Lepo' however was sold by a few random fisher women. It comes under the category of 'good fish' which can be eaten by those recovering from illnesses, pregnant women, new moms or those with special diet requirements. They say Lepo is not 'nanji' - this term has no real meaning in English although the best I can explain is to say that it doesn't cause any real problems if you eat it. All Mangaloreans are familiar with this term i.e if you are the active fish eating type.

This delicate fish tastes great in a curry or even when fried. I love it both ways. Just remember not to overcook it. In Mumbai we get the larger variety than in Mangalore and so most times we end up frying them - the flesh is gorgeous and my son loves it. Cleaning this fish is not as difficult as it appears but involves minor skill to peel off the skin which is a de-scaling technique by itself. So next time you find 'Lepo' in your fish market, don't hesitate to buy some. I promise you, you'll love it!

Lepo Losun Miri
(Printable Recipe)

Serves: 4
This curry can be made with prawns too


You Need
  • 500gms or 4-5 large ones Tongue Fish(also called as 'Lep' in Marathi & 'Nang' in Tulu)
For the masala:
  • 6-7 long dry red chillies (to increase the quantity of the gravy you can add extra 2 chillies without seeds - just the skin)
  • 6-7 peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp haldi
  • 1/2 tsp jeera
  • 1 small ball of tamarind/1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1-2 tbsp grated coconut (optional - not part of the recipe but add it if you want extra gravy)* see note below
For the shindap (items to be sauted before adding the masala)
  • 8 cloves garlic with skin - mashed up slightly (do not slice or chop)
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • oil for frying
  • salt to taste
Method
1. Remove the skin, scales and the frilly edges of the fish, clean in salt water, rinse and allow to drain. Cut large ones into 2 pieces. If you are using small Lepos, leave them whole
2. Grind all the ingredients for the masala to a fine paste.
3. In a wide bottomed pan (as Lepos are long and tender, so use a large pan to avoid them from breaking) heat some oil and fry the 8 cloves of garlic and toss in the sliced onion. Fry for about a minute till they turn golden (not too brown)
4. Add the ground masala and fry it for about 2 minutes on a slow flame. Add some water to the mixie and use this water to be added to the masala. Add sufficient water to make a medium thin gravy (not too thin). Add salt and check the taste. Make any changes before you add the fish.
5. Bring the gravy to a boil - for about 1/2 a minute and then gently add the fish pieces and simmer for another minute, not more as fish tends to overcook and will continue to cook even when the flame has been turned off
6. Serve hot with piping hot boiled rice or white rice

Note: The grated coconut is not part of the authentic way of making this curry, however, with the remaining ingredients, one gets very little quantity of 'kadi'/gravy and if you are the type who loves your rice drenched in gravy. then you can either add the coconut (which ofcourse reduces the spice factor) or 1/2 an onion (which slightly increases the spiciness)

24 comments:

  1. Just love fish curries. This one looks so tempting!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Slurp,mouthwatering here...salivating..

    ReplyDelete
  3. hi,
    my mouth is watering looking @ the fish curry.Back home my mom prepares the curry with this fish,but here no such chance.
    I think i can do the same curry with mackerel.Right??
    Can you give me the name of fish in konkani and same in english.A request,please
    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sharada, thank u so much! This curry can be made with other fish such as Kane (lady fish) or Rawas, Pomfret too. Im not sure about Mackerel. Which name do you want in Konkani and English? Lepo or Lepe is the name in Konkani and in English it;s called Tongue Fish. Or did you mean which other fish can be used for this curry?

    ReplyDelete
  5. This looks beautiful.. So tempting :) Will try it soon..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Mehjabeen! Do let me know how it turned out!

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow looks so delicious..
    first time to ur blog ...
    u hav a gr8 space...
    drop by my blog when u gettime..
    www.sharemyrecipe.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you chitra! Will check ur blog too!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Shireen,

    have been enjoying your blog! Any chance U have the recipe to kane curry in a peppery masala..looks brown even..my grandma used to make it years ago!!!!

    Shirley.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Shirley, thanks a lot for the compliment. I think you are talking about Kane Jeere Miri which looks slightly brownish, I do have the recipe in my mum's book, have tried it before the blog was started, I will definitely try it out once more & upload the recipe soon!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amazing blog..Everything Mangalorean. Keep going...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tried this one yesterday...turned out amazing..Thanks a lot for the mouthwatering recipe

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks a lot Ms Quote & Jenifer! Glad you tried & liked it Jenifer!

    ReplyDelete
  14. hi shireen ur recipes r amazing...ur doing a wonderful job by posting these blogs..mangalorean recipes (authentic one's ) are not easy to find and young people like us who have just started cooking search the net for everything v prepare..thanks alot....people like u make r lives so much easier

    ReplyDelete
  15. hi shireen...thanks for ur recipe i have a doubt?? is this fish even called " adey meen " cause i used to have this fish always in the restaurants when i was studying in Mangalore but now that I am in Dubai i need the English name for it which i dont seem to find..can u please clarify??? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Shiri, thanks so much for your compliments, glad that my blog is of help to you. Lepo is a name in Konkani and in Tulu it is called Nang. What you refer to as Adey Meen is actually called Sondhalo in Konkani. Here is a list I have compiled with most popular fish names in both their local names (Konkani & Tulu) and English names. Please check the 'Somethin Fishy' tab on my home page

    http://ruchikrandhap.blogspot.com/p/somethin-fishy.html

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm gonna try this today, I love all your recipes, they are so accurate and awesome. By the way in New Zealand big lepo fish are sold by the name of Flounder.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks a ton Renee!! Glad u liked the recipes. Do try & let me know :) Yes, I will add the name of the fish

    ReplyDelete
  19. I absolutely loved this recipe! I used to always tawa fry lepo but this is such a healthy way of eating my fav fish and so tasty :) thanks shireen - I am glad I found your blog !
    Suprita

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks so much for your feedback Suprita!!! So glad you enjoyed the lepo curry :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Shireen,

    I would like to know if Kane fish is good for pregnancy... I would also appreciate if you could help me in knowing which fish is good during pregnancy... I tried surfing the net for the same but confused..

    Thanks in advance,
    Natasha

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Natasha,

    Most white fish is considered good during pregnancy so you can have Kane, White Pomfret and King Fish (Surmai) provided it doesn't cause gas and bloating. Erli and sardines are also good as sardines are rich in Omega 3. Do avoid fish that is high in mercury like King Mackarel, Shark, Catfish and other crustaceans like crab, prawn, lobster etc. It's best to consult your doctor and ask him/her which one in the above list is suitable for you. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Shireen,

    Love your work. We rely on your recipes a lot. Keep it up.

    I'm writing to ask you about lepes. Where in Bombay can one buy these? A friend of mine in New Bombay is desperate to get his hands on some, regardless of which part of the city they are in. Be good if you can let me know (I myself am in Madras).

    Regards,
    A

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ Al: Thanks so much! In Bombay you can buy lepo (called as sole fish in English) at any market. I used to buy them at the 4 bungalows fish market and at Andheri (W) fish market too...hope your friend is able to find them!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)