Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Meen Thoran/ A Stir-Fry with Shredded Fish and Coconut

Thoran is a style of stir-fry prepared using a main item like vegetables or fish together with crushed coconut and spices. Though thoran is usually prepared by using vegetables are usually chopped very thin, this is a variation where cooked fish is finely shredded after removing the bones to prepare a thoran. Do not mistake this for what is generally called a Meen Peera, where small fish like white bait or sardine is used with their bones.

During my childhood days, my Ammachi and Amma used to prepare this dish using fresh fish like shark, greasy mackerel, spanish mackerel, silver trevally or tuna. Fish was first cooked in salt and then hours were spent to painstakingly remove all the fish bones and to shred the fish. Because of its preparation time, this dish was cooked only when we had guests at home.

However, things have changed now. What once was considered a festive dish has turned out to be an everyday speciality in most kitchens nowadays with the easy availability of canned tuna.In fact, it is something that most of us resort to make when we have little to no time in the kitchen to provide our family with an easy yet tasty meal. Onion, ginger, green chilly, a few spices, coconut, a can of tuna and Viola! A perfect side to go with rice.

Serves: 4 - 5
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

To poach fish
  • 300g fish cooked in salt, bones removed, shredded                                                                            (any large size fish can be used; weighed after cooking; canned tuna in brine can also be used)
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup coconut, grated
  • 1/2 tbsp kashmiri chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste or 2 - 3 pieces of pot tamarind (kudam puli)
  • salt to taste
To temper and stir fry
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large green chilly, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp raw basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional)
1. Grind all ingredients under "To poach fish", except for fish, to a coarse mixture. Mix this very well with shredded fish. Add 1/4 cup water, mix well and poach on medium flame until the flavours infuse (5 minutes).
2. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds followed by raw basmati rice. As soon as the rice puffs up (this should take only a few seconds; take care not to burn), add onion, curry leaves and green chilly and stir until onions starts to change colour. Add coriander powder and stir till fragrant. Add the poached fish and coconut mixture and mix well. Let the mixture become dry. Then add beaten egg, mix well and break any lumps formed.

Meen thoran is ready to serve hot with rice. You can also use it a filling for sandwiches or chapathi rolls.


  1. Its been a while I guess you posted anything right? I was checking though. Hope you and your family are doing good. The meen thoran looks yummy. I know the canned tuna is so handy.


  3. Love Meen thoran,I make it all the time but never knew how much trouble was taken in the earlier days to make it.

  4. yummy meen peera..its been quite some time since i made have just clicked the refresh button ! :)

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  5. I love these easy (when using canned) fish thoran.. I can keep on eating them :) Lovely it looks !

  6. Lovely meen thoran... really yum...

  7. Can I add this lots of spicy ingredients? I really like eating spicy ramen because it makes my appetite very aggressive. I would really try this after I get home.

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