Preparing fish delicacies like ‘meen mulakittathu’ is a delight when using freshwater species, although cleaning certain varieties like ‘koori’ (catfish), ‘koori vala’ (basa), ‘chillan’ (mystus), and ‘manja koori’ (sun catfish) can be quite challenging due to their slippery texture. Removing scales and cutting these fishes into smaller pieces often poses a daunting task.
Traditionally, the scales of these fishes are scraped against a granite rock, but there’s a simpler alternative to this laborious process. Here’s an easy method to clean slippery freshwater fish:
- Take some water in a vessel and add Malabar tamarind (kudampuli) to it.
- Mix the water and tamarind well.
- Heat the water on a stove until it becomes mildly warm.
- Place the uncleaned fish in an earthen pan.
- Pour the warm water mixture over the fish, ensuring there’s enough water to immerse the whole fish.
- Let the fish soak in the warm water for about 10 minutes.
- After soaking, remove the fish from the water and use scissors to cut its tail and side parts.
- Use scissors or a scrubber to easily remove the scales by scraping the fish.
- Within minutes, the slippery texture and any dirt will disappear, leaving the fish with a clean, whitish appearance.
This method simplifies the cleaning process and ensures that your freshwater fish is ready to be transformed into a delicious culinary delight. Enjoy your cooking.