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Meen Molee – Salmon in Molee Sauce

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Meen molee can be made with the fish of your choice.

This is a simple meen moley recipe that I learned on my first trip to Kerala. There, I had it served on the beach, cooked with baby shark. Kingfish is another popular fish used out there.

Here in the UK, neither of those fish are easily found so I made this meen moley with salmon. It is equally as delicious with salmon so give this a try!

Meen Molee

This meen molee can be cooked in less than 20 minutes, in one pan

Choosing the right fish for meen molee.

Use whatever you can get but try to find meaty fish such as salmon, cod, halibut or haddock.

Flaky fish such as sea bass and bream will fall apart in the sauce. It would still taste food but perhaps not look as good.

This is a quick one pan meal.

One of the main reasons I make meen molee often is how quick and easy it is to whip up from scratch.


You can literally cook this meal in less than 20 minutes. Meen molee may be a quick one but the flavours work so well together. It really will taste like you’ve been slaving over a stove for hours!

Variations of the recipe.

I like a sauce with a bit of texture to it. So I serve meen molee just as it is without any fuss.

You might like this better if you blend the sauce before adding the fish. At one restaurant I had meen molee with a silky smooth sauce. They blended it and then passed it through a fine sieve. That sauce was amazing! 

So if you want to make this extra special, do that. 

Step by step photographs of meen molee.

Frying mustard seeds and curry leaves

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, stir in the curry leaves.

Frying onions

When the curry leaves are fragrant, stir in the chopped onion and fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.

Adding garlic and ginger paste and chillies to the pan

Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and green chillies and fry for about a minute.

Adding ground spices to the pan

Now add the ground spices and stir well.

Stirring tomatoes into the onion mixture

Then add the chopped tomatoes and again stir to combine.

Simmering coconut milk

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. If you prefer a smoother sauce, blend until smooth.

Salmon simmering in sauce

Add the salmon to the simmering sauce. Cover the pan and simmer for about 4 minutes.

Cooked salmon in molee sauce

Be careful not to overcook the salmon. Stir in the coriander and if the sauce is two thin, remove the salmon and cook it down.

Meen molee

Serve the salmon over white rice and spoon the sauce over it.

If you like this salmon meen molee, give some of these a try too…

Spicy clams – Sambal Lala
Vietnamese Grilled Scallops
Indian Fish Fry
Cha Ca – Vietnamese Fried Fish with Fresh Dill
Indonesian Blackened Grilled Fish

Yield: 4

Meen Molee - Salmon in Moley Sauce

Meen Molee
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 20 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 – 5 fresh green chilies finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 400ml thick coconut milk
  • 4 x 150g salmon fillets
  • 4 tbsp coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of two limes.


  1. Heat the oil over medium high heat. When visibly hot, stir in the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, stir in the curry leaves and fry until fragrant. About 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in the chopped onion and fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and ginger paste and chopped chillies and stir them around in the pan for about 30 seconds.
  3. Now add the ground spices and stir well to combine. Add the chopped to tomatoes and stir again. Then pour in the coconut milk and bring to a rolling simmer.
  4. Add the salmon steaks to the pan and cover. Simmer covered for about 4 minutes or until almost cooked through.
  5. Take the lid off the pan. Be careful not to over cook the salmon! If the sauce is too thin, remove the salmon and cook it down some.
  6. To serve, season with salt and pepper to taste. Also add some lime juice to taste and garnish with fresh coriander (cilantro).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 681Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 381mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 38g

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