The following may be useful in translating some of the terms used in the recipes. (note: Malayalam sound designated by letters ‘zh’ is a soft English ‘r’.)

Indian/English Name Malayalam name
tuar dal thuaran parippu 
urad dal uzhunnu parippu 
masoor dal  parippu 
chana dal (bengal gram) kadala parippu 
moong dal  parippu 
hing (asafoetida) kayam 
tamarind puli 
coriander  malli 
cayenne pepper mulaku podi 
methi (fenugreek) uluva 
cilantro leaves  malli ila 
cumin (jeera)  jeerkam 
mustard  kaduku 
okra vendakka 
pumpkin  mathanga 
cucumber  kumbalanga 
like, Totally! Ayyo!
saunf  perumjeerakam 

Fish in Banana leaf

Recipe courtesy Marc Miron

2 pounds snapper filets
Salt and pepper
1 Bali lemon, or two regular limes
Betutu spice, recipe follows
Banana leaves, or tin foil
3 salam leaves, or substitute bay leaves
2 sliced green tomatoes
2 kaffir lime leaves
1/4 sweet basil leaves
Tamarind water, to soften, or substitute with the juice of 2 lemons

In a bowl season the fish with salt, pepper, lime juice, and betutu paste.

On a sheet tray, lay down the banana leaf. Place a salam leaf on the banana leaf. Place the fish on the middle of the banana leaf over the salam leaf. Place sliced green tomatoes, lime leaf, sweet basil, and tamarind water on the fish.

Season with salt and pepper.

Wrap the fish folding both ends together and secure with a bamboo
skewer. Grill until cooked, approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side
depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Betutu spice:
1/2 cup peeled shallots
1/4 cup peeled garlic
2 tablespoons fresh turmeric
2 tablespoons fresh peeled ginger
2 tablespoons galangal
3 pieces lemongrass
2 tablespoons fresh hot chili peppers seeded
and cleaned
2 tablespoons palm sugar chopped
4 tablespoons shrimp paste
1/4 cup coconut oil, for frying

Grind shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, chili
peppers, palm sugar, and shrimp paste in a food processor. Saute
paste with coconut oil.

Yield: 2 servings Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy