Creamy Fish Molly/ Moilee/ Molee

Creamy Fish Molly/ Moilee/ Molee

Have you ever had fish molly? A traditional Kerala dish. It is a fish stew, mildly spiced, originated in Kerala with a Portuguese impact. It is prepared in a coconut milk base which gives its mildness. This curry is simply delicious, loved by the little ones too as it isn't very spicy. There is a story behind the name and invention to this curry. Centuries ago when the Portuguese invaded India, the local people of Kerala used to prepare food very spicy, which the Portuguese weren't fond of. Kerala was a place abundant in spices, coconut, and seafood. So to suit their taste buds, the curry was prepared with coconut milk to make it mild. This the Portuguese loved and named the curry after the lady;Molly, who made it. That is how Fish Molly/ Moilee happened.

I have my own touch to this recipe I have added cashew nut paste for a more creamier touch. And I used Coconut milk powder for ease of cooking. You may use fresh coconut milk for a more tastier experience. This isn't exactly the authentic recipe. But I like it this way. I haven't added the tomatoes in the last stage unlike the authentic recipe, the fact being, no one likes to have raw tomatoes in the curry here!😄

The aroma when you make this dish is simply amazing. The curry leaves when sauteed in ghee takes you to a whole new experience taste and smell wise. The spiciness comes from the green chilli and black pepper yet they are made subtle using coconut milk. The fish is lightly marinated in salt, pepper and turmeric powder and fried for a couple of minutes, just until the fish is slightly done. The fish gets done in the curry base. It goes best with Appa, Idiyappam, and Chapathi/ Roti. Let's get cooking!


For the marinade
  • ½ kg fish (see notes, I have used King Fish)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • Salt (as required)
For the fish molee
  • ½ inch sized ginger piece (finely minced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium sized onion, 4-5 shallots(sliced), shallots are better
  • 3-4 green chilies (slit)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tomato (chopped or sliced)
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 8 Cashew Nuts (made into a paste by boiling or soaking in hot water)
  • Salt (as required)
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • Coconut oil (as required)


  1. Clean and cut fish into pieces. Marinate with lemon juice, pepper, salt and turmeric powder for 15-20 minutes.
  2. In a kadai/pan, add little coconut oil and shallow fry fish on both sides. Keep it aside.
  3. In a separate pan, add oil and ghee and heat on a medium flame. Add the sliced onions and sauté until translucent, add the curry leaves, minced ginger, garlic, and green chilies, sauté for a minute until its raw smell subsides.
  4. Add tomatoes and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Next add the turmeric powder, pepper powder, and thin coconut milk. Close the lid and allow the curry to boil for 3 minutes on a medium flame. When the oil starts separating, reduce the flame to a low and mix well.
  6. Now add the fried fish, cover it with the gravy, and allow the curry to blend well with the fish, bring to a boil. Add the Cashew cream. Do not stir once the fish is added, instead rotate the pan to mix the gravy.
  7. Add the thick coconut milk and cook on a low flame for another 2 minutes, make sure not to allow the dish to boil beyond this stage. Check for the seasoning.
  8. Add sliced round tomatoes and more curry leaves and chilli flake, close the lid and switch off the flame. Let the tomato cook in the remaining steam.
Serve with Appam, Idiyappam, and Chapati/Roti. Enjoy!

  • Fishes like salmon, king fish, Pomfret etc can be used. 
  • Adjust the spiciness of the curry according to your taste by reducing green chilies.
  • Coconut oil is the ideal oil for all authentic Kerala recipes

Do try this recipe and don't forget to share your experience/feedback with me here in the comments or feel free to send me a mail. Also, do tag me at #taystedit if you try out my recipes on Facebook, Instagram etc so that I can see when you make it. ♡♡♡♡

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