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Kerala Fish Curry {Slow Cooker Indian Cookbook}

Slow Cooker Kerala Fish Curry {meen moili}

An aromatic savory fish curry recipe perfectly cooked with a slow cooker!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 6-8 servings
Calories 487kcal
Author Toni Dash


Instructions for the Masala Paste:

  • 3 cloves garlic , minced into a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground Indian red chile*
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 medium onions , sliced thin
  • 2-3 serrano chiles , sliced thin
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned 10 to 12 kari leaves*
  • 2 15-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions for the Fish:

  • 11/2 pounds mild white fish fillets , such as red snapper, tilapia, or thin fillets of halibut
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Lemon wedges , for garnish


  • Before prepping the ingredients, turn the slow cooker on to the high setting for 15 minutes, until the insert is warmed through.
  • In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the masala paste until combined then set aside.
  • Heat the tablespoon of oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the onions, chiles, ginger, and kari leaves and fry for 2 minutes, until the onions are just soft. Transfer to the slow cooker insert. 
  • Add the masala paste and stir in the coconut milk, rinsing each can with 1⁄4 cup of water and adding this to the slow cooker. 
  • Cook for 2 1/2 hours on low. This curry can be made ahead of time to this point and either kept on the warm setting for up to an hour or cooled and then reheated quickly in a saucepan when you want to continue with the next step.
  • Trim and cut the fish into 2-inch pieces. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, turmeric, and salt and mix in the fish to coat well. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the marinade from the fish. 
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and, working a few pieces at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan, fry the fish for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until the edges are lightly browned. 
  • Transfer the fish with a slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside. Once all the fish is sautéed, carefully transfer the pieces to the hot curry and simmer for another minute or more, depending on the thickness of the fish. Serve hot, garnished with lemon wedges.


NOTE If using shrimp, allow for five or six size 16⁄20 shrimp per person. Peel and devein the shrimp before using. Sauté the shrimp in a skillet over high heat with 1 tablespoon oil for a few minutes, just until they become opaque, before adding to the curry. Be careful not to overcook them, as they will get rubbery. VARIATION For a vegetarian version of this curry, serve with corn on the cob cut into 11 ⁄2-inch pieces. Boil the corn until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes, and then add to the curry. Bring the curry to a quick boil and serve. Allow for 2 or 3 pieces of corn per person.


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 84g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 207mg | Sodium: 2548mg | Potassium: 1370mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 10.4mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg