Karimeen or Pearl Spot is a top notch freshwater fish in Kerala. It is also known as Green Chromide. It flourishes in the backwaters of Kerala though it is also farm-raised occasionally. The freshwater ones taste delicious whereas the farm-raised ones lack in taste. Karimeen Fry, Karimeen Pollichathu, Karimeen Mappas are all delicacies from God’s Own Country – Kerala.
In US, frozen Karimeen is available in most of the Indian Grocery Stores. It doesn’t taste as good as the fresh ones but it is definitely a welcome change. These frozen ones are cleaned for convenience. It definitely makes life easier since it is difficult to remove the scales from Karimeen and you need some degree of expertise. Here is the recipe for making Pearl Spot Fry (Karimeen Porichathu). You can either shallow fry or deep fry the fish.
- Pearl Spot/Karimeen – 4 nos (Around 1 lb or 1/2 kg)
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp
- Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 tbsp
- Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp (Alter according to your spice tolerance)
- Turmeric Power – 1/2 tsp
- Black Pepper Powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1 tsp (Optional)
- Eastern Fish Masala Powder – 1 tbsp (Optional)
- Vinegar – 1 to 2 tsp (Alternatively, you can use Lemon Juice)
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – as needed for frying
- Clean the fish thoroughly. Remove the eyes, scales and fins and make gashes on both sides of the fish. You can also cut the mouth using Kitchen Shears.
- Make a marinade using the above ingredients (except oil) and apply it liberally on the fish. Stuff some marinade inside the fish. Refrigerate it for 1-2 hours for a better flavor.
- Heat oil in fan. You can shallow fry or deep fry the fish until brown and crisp.
- Serve each fish with sliced onions, tomatoes and a wedge of lemon.