• Preeth C.Vijay

Kerala Fish Curry

The very first time when i tasted Kerala Fish Curry at one of my dad's friend's place in Calicut, i was blown over by the simplicity and the aroma of the fish curry cooked with lots of coconut, and the sourness from the Kudampuli or popularly referred as Malabar Tamarind was something new to me.

Kudampuli gives a signature taste to this dish. A little sour and smoky flavor that you would love on a fish curry cooked in coconut oil. This recipe calls for chopped ginger, and the crunch of it while having it mixed up with rice, will be a burst of flavors.

Regular tamarind can also be substituted but the authentic version uses kudampuli, and this dish is a relish when served after 2 hours of making it as the fish and masala gets well incorporated.

As always, i would suggest to make this fish curry on a earthen pot, reason being.....it tastes the best. You should try tasting a fish curry directly from Manchatti.


Fish 750 gm

Shallots 15 to 20 (sliced)

Curry leaves 2 sprigs

Ginger 2 tablespoon (Julienned)

Garlic 6 cloves

Green chilli 2 (sliced)

Red chilli powder 3 tablespoon

Coriander powder 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek powder 1/2 teaspoon

Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon

Kudampuli 3 to 4 pieces

Coconut 1 cup (grated)

Coconut oil 5 tablespoon

How to Start?

Grind coconut to a smooth paste. Soak kudampuli in hot water for 20 mins.

Make a paste out of red chilli powder, coriander powder, fenugreek powder, and turmeric powder by adding little water and set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a Earthen pot. Temper with mustard seeds and fenugreek. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering add shallots and curry leaves. Fry until the onions are slightly browned. Add chopped ginger and garlic, fry for a minute.

Now add the masala paste and fry for 2 minutes on medium flame. Makes sure the masala does not get burnt.

Now add 2 cups of water and kudampuli. Keep it covered and let it boil for 5 minutes.

Simmer the flame and add the fish. Add the smoothly ground coconut, give it a gentle mix and let it cook on low flame for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat once oil floats on top.

Serve hot with rice.


Tastes the best after 2 hours of resting time.

Usage of ginger, garlic and loads of shallots enhances the taste of the dish. So do not compromise on any of this.

Coconut oil delivers the exact flavor of the kerala cuisine, though any oil can be substituted.

Add a teaspoon of coconut oil at the end for some extra kick.

This fish curry is slightly on the thicker side, adjust the water quantity accordingly

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