Tag Archives: rice and lentil platter

Varutha Meen, Varutha Kathirikkai with Thaalicha Paruppu/ Pan Fried Fish and Pan Fried EggPlant with Seasoned Lentil

the platter


Why not try this for a simple sunday meal or even a relaxed saturday meal? Steamed Rice – Thaalicha Paruppu with varutha meen – pan fried small fish and varutha kathirikkai – pan fried spicy eggplant!

Here we get small river fish – which my daughter loves when pan fried… but when cooked in gravy, it is a tedious affair to remove bones. Especially with an inexperienced, recently converted non-vegetarian mother like me.

Cambodia’s inland fisheries are the fourth most productive in the world given the combined capacities of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the Mekong River, where more than one million people depend on the fisheries sector for employment, income and food security.  Thailand is the largest importer of freshwater fish from Cambodia. http://www.genderandtrade.org/gtinformation/164419/164436/165013/thailand_combodia/

The fish is very quick to make and so is the eggplant – ofcourse the eggplant needs some cutting but the fish – might have been moulded the right size straight from heaven!

marinated fish


Coming to the platter – I just made Steamed Rice and Thaalicha Paruppu (quick-and-easy-thaalicha-paruppuseasoned-lentil) for the main course. As south indians, we always mix up the rice with the lentil or any gravied curry. And compulsorily need a side dish – be it semi gravy kootu(stew of vegetables) or a dry vegetable to have with the mixed lentil and rice.

Now enters the fish and eggplant as side dishes or accompaniment to the main course or the only course on a lazy weekend – lentil and rice. The marination can be an insult to true marination – as in the true sense, we sprinkle the spices and fry – but – a lazy day’s true treat – without doubt!

I. Varutha Meen – Pan Fried Fish



  • chiriya Meen/small fish – 1/4 kg (has appr. 25 fishes)
  • cooking oil – 5 tbsp (for frying)
  • gingelly oil – 2 tsp and curry leaves – a few for seasoning

to marinate

  • turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • salt – 1/2 tsp or as per taste

Method of Preparation
  1. Clean the fish and apply salt and turmeric and leave it for 15 minutes. This is believed to help in effective cleaning of any fish before cooking
  2. Wash well again and then mix in the marinade
  3. To check salt, mix turmeric, pepper and salt separately and taste for salt and spice and then mix the fish in the spice mixture
  4. Set aside for a minimum 1 hour in fridge
  5. Heat oil in pan and place the marinated fish
  6. Fry till the fish gets the brownish glow and is crispy
  7. Remove in absorbent paper
  8. Heat 1 tsp gingelly oil in a pan – might be the same pan
  9. Add the washed curry leaves and fry
  10. Place the pan fried fish in a serving bowl
  11. Garnish with the fried curry leaves.

in the pan





II. Varutha Kathirikkai – Pan Fried EggPlant


Eggplant is very low in calories and fats but rich in soluble fiber content.  The peel or skin (deep blue/purple varieties) of aubergine has significant amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins.Scientific studies have shown that these anti-oxidants have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.

It contains good amounts of many essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3).Further, this vegetable is an also good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron and potassium. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/eggplant.html


  • kathirikkai/Eggplant – 2 no.s (I used the long ones)
  • cooking oil – 5 tbsp or a little more

to marinate

  • turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • salt – as needed
  • red chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • coriander powder – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation
  1. Wash eggplant and cut into 1 inch thick pieces
  2. Keep the pieces in water or the eggplant tends to darken
  3. When you are ready to marinate it, take out of water and mix the spices and leave for 15 minutes
  4. As usual heat oil in a pan and fry till done on both sides.

marinated eggplant


in the pan


Serve fish and eggplant with steamed rice and thaalicha paruppu. There is always Yoghurt at home and that helps to end the day’s meal with thayir saadham – that is just plain yoghurt and rice!

  1. The quantity of spices can be altered as per taste of the family
  2. Fish can be used with the head or without. I use them without the head
  3. A dash of lemon juice while marinating gives a wonderful flavour in both; or just add after the fish is crisply done.
  4. Lemon juice after the eggplant doesn’t suit much though.
  5. For marination of eggplant, sambar powder can also be used for even more lazier ladies (I do it sometimes)!

Call it a Simple Sunday Meal and why two dishes? Do some of you feel this way – just opt one per week! Sometimes I feel guilty when my daughter asks why is there a lot of empty space in her plate….. in search of more side dishes! Now, with fish and eggplant her plate was not empty!!

Why even cook the thaalicha paruppu/seasoned lentil? It happens my friend… tttooo lazy for anything. Take that Plain Yoghurt from the fridge… Have you cooked your rice atleast? Make Thayir Saadham/Curd Rice (thayir-saadham-mor-milagaicurd-rice-sun-dried-chillies) or just mix Rice and Plain Yoghurt on the lunch table. Enjoy with fish or eggplant!! A sumptuous meal and some rest too!