Karimeen in English
- The English name of Karimeen is Pearl Spot (etroplus suratensis) (or) Green Chromide Fish
Other name of Karimeen is Erimeen
Karimeen Fish in Tamil
- Tamil name of Karimeen is Pattai (or) Palincha.
Karimeen Fish in Telugu
- Telugu name of Karimeen is Cashimera.
Pearl Spot Fish
Karimeen or Pearl Spot is a popular food fish of Kerala. It is basically a backwater fish, extensively found along the east and southwest coasts of Peninsular India. Karimeen is named as the official state fish of Kerala in 2010. This is mainly to protect the fish from over-exploitation, considering its economic value and a major attraction of culinary tourism. In order to boost the production of Pearl Spot, the year 2010-11 was observed as ‘The year of Karimeen” by the government of Kerala.
It is a favourite of the sea-food lovers in Kerala. Karimeen is oval-shaped and greyish green. Karimeen has many scales on the sides with a pearly spot. It reaches 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length. Karimeen has a mild sweet taste and its texture is tender. It gets uniquely flavoured with the salinity of the seawater and the sweetness of the freshwater.
Popular Karimeen Fish Recipes
Karimeen pollichatthu, Karimeen Fry, Karimeen Fish Molly are some famous delicacy served in restaurants. Karimeen fish is expensive due to its taste and popularity among tourist. Sometimes it is called the upper-middle class fish. It is too hot a delicacy for common poor people.
Due to the increase of the domestic and international tourists in Alappuzha, the demand for Karimeen has peaked. In the houseboats in the Vembanad lake, Karimeen is one of the main attractions in the lunch menu served. Karimeen dishes are largely found in the restaurants and toddy shops of the Kuttanad region.
Karimeen Pollichatthu, a famous traditional delicacy in Kerala, is basically a fried fish marinated with loads of masalas made (pepper, chilli, ginger, garlic, onions, tomato), wrapped up using a banana leaf and then steamed or fried on the pan using coconut oil.
Tastiest Variety of Karimeen
Kanjirakode Pearl Spot is supposed to be the tastiest among the pearl spot varieties. The China clay deposit in the creek bed is believed to give the unique taste for the Kanjirakode pearl spot.
Karimeen Production in Kerala
The production of Karimeen from Kerala is 2 tonnes per annum though the demand is 10000 tonnes. The fish, despite being the hot favourite, karimeen or pearl spot numbers in Kerala are dwindling. High water pollution in the backwaters is the main reason behind it. Kerala started to depend more on fish export from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Hence, the quality, as well as the taste, differ. So Kerala has started to reduce the import by increasing the production in the state.
Interesting Facts about Pearl Spot Fish
- Pearl Spot fish leads a strictly monogamous life. The male and the female fish from exclusive spawning pairs and mate only with each other. The mating period of the Pearl Spot is seven to eight months.
- After the eggs are laid by the female pearl spot fish, they are stuck to the substratum one by one, and the male fish fertilizes them immediately.
- This process is repeated several times for about an hour, and the eggs are closely kept without touching each other.
- The eggs are hatched in 72 hours, and the hatchlings are transferred by the parents to a breeding pit made by them.
- The female Pearl Spot fish closely guards the pit and continues to give care till the young one attains a size of 30-40 mm.
- The Pearl Spot fish needs clear water for breeding and mating.
- The fish lays only 1,000 to 1,200 eggs in a breeding period. This number is very low compared to 1 lakh eggs laid by other species.
Pearl Spot Fish Health Benefits
Karimeen Benefits are endless.
- Pearl Spot is a low-fat fish.
- Karimeen is rich in healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids, which keep the heart and brain healthy.
- Pearl Spot is a rich source of vitamins and high protein food.
- Karimeen is rich in vitamin D and riboflavin.
- Pearl Spot is rich in minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.
- Regular consumption of Karimeen helps to lower blood pressure.