The sweet and refreshing tender coconut water and its melt-in-the-mouth flesh are mostly used to cook delicious desserts and sweet treats. However, Denny Davis, executive chef at The Renai Cochin had a unique idea. He tried cooking fresh seer fish in tender coconut water; and it turned out to be a splendid dish. The fish curry is a flavour bomb as the tender coconut pulp has been mixed in the curry sauce. The fusion of sweet and spiciness creates a bustle of nuanced flavours on your taste buds.
The dish called ‘Fish Sava’ is incredibly easy to cook. Cleaned seer fish fillets are cooked in tender coconut water for seven minutes, along with just turmeric powder and salt. Meanwhile, prepare a simple tempering by sautéing shallots, ginger, a few bird eye chillies, turmeric powder, coriander powder and a pinch of chilli powder. Finally, the buttery tender coconut pulp too is added to give it more texture and flavor. However, make sure to add a few chunks of tender coconut to bite into. The cooked fish fillets along with the gravy is then added into the masala mix. You could even add some tempered shallots and curry leaves as garnish.
This curry is not too spicy as a pinch of chili powder is added. However, you would get the burst of spiciness from the bird eye chilies. Besides, the tender coconut flesh tastes sweet and a bit sour too. The ‘Fish Sava’ could be served in the tender coconut shell. The chef says that seer fish is perfect to be served like this in a coconut shell as they could be cut into small fillets. In case you are using pearl spot, it should be cut into really small pieces to be able to fit into the coconut shell. ‘Fish Sava’ tastes amazing with idiyappam, appam or nool porotta.
Interestingly, it was noted writer KL Mohana Varma who named the dish ‘Fish Sava’. The chef says that the writer was impressed by the incredible taste of the dish. ‘Fish Sava’ is served at the Rasaleela restaurant in The Renai Cochin at Palarivattom, Kochi, from 7 pm to 10.30 pm. It is also available for the lunch service at the ‘Pavilion’ restaurant too.