Meen Idi Ada – A Lakshadweep dish
Lakshadweep Cuisine is pre-dominantly sea food, and we can find wide range of staple dishes made from fishes and other sea creatures such as crab, star fish etc. Many of their common food ingredients are deeply influenced by Kerala culture, rice, coconut and fishes to mention a few. They have many rice-based staple foods. Here I provide the recipe of Meen Idi Ada – A trademark Lakshadweep dish, similar to Kerala’s traditional vegetarian ada.
Ingredients for Meen Idi Ada:
1. Fish – 250 g
2. Coconut scrapped – ½
Turmeric powder – ½ small spoon
3. Coriander – 1 big spoon
Red chillies – 8
Cinnamon – 1 piece
Cloves – 4
Cardamom – 2
Fennel seeds – ½ small spoon
4. Fish cooked water – A little
Raw rice (Puzhukkalari) – 250 g
Coconut scrapped – 1
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt – As required
How to prepare Meen Idi Ada?
1. Soak rice and grind it to prepare flour for ada (similar to puttu powder – not very finely powdered)
2. Cook fish adding sufficient salt and water. Then make it a powder.
3. Roast ingredients no: 2 and make a fine paste.
4. Roast ingredients no: 3 and powder it.
5. Now mix all the ingredients together using hands adding sufficient fish cooked water.
6. Take an urli and pour a little oil. Now rotate it once so that urli gets a basic coat of oil.
7. Spread flour using hands in ½ inch thickness, and press it well.
8. Now make holes here and there and place it in urli.
9. Now place this urli in heated charcoal and close it tightly with a lid. Now place heated charcoal on its top also and bake it for 45 minutes to one hour.
10. Cut it to pieces and serve.
Now let me add two more trademark Lakshadweep dishes – Chendi Orukki from Tuna and Appal Curry (Neerazhi Curry) made from octopus.
Chendi Orukki – Cook ¼ kg Tuna (Choora in Malayalam) adding 1 cup water and required salt. When it’s ¾ cooked, add three green chillies sliced and curry leaves and smash using a spatula. Now add 3 cup scrapped coconut and cook in low flame till water content is absorbed. It’s super in taste.
Appal Curry – Lakshadweep people call octopus as appal, and they own certain techniques to catch octopus from seas. When it’s cleaned and cut into pieces, it resembles squid pieces. A masala paste is prepared using 30 red chillies, 3 dried gooseberries and a little turmeric powder. Now cook octopus pieces in a pressure cooker adding this masala paste, enough salt and a little vinegar.
Heat ½ cup coconut oil in a pan, and transfer the entire cooked contents to it. Mix it well and close the lid. Now cook it till the full water content is absorbed and fried well. Appal Curry is almost dry fry type of non-vegetarian dish.
Courtesy: Vanitha Magazine, Archive May 15-31 2012
Read a few more crab recipes here. Click on the images in the gallery to read.