Traditional Kerala Fish Curry


Fish curry and rice is a staple food in Kerala. Fish is one of my favourite foods at home. Fish is also one of the most well-balanced sources of protein. They are a valuable source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Kerala fish curry is spicy and tangy in flavour. With a variety of spices and ingredients like tamarind and coconut milk, there is a lot of scope to experiment with the fish curry.

Some like to add tapioca to it to give it a different flavour.

The recipe I am sharing today is a basic fish curry which is served at our home for lunch. You can choose the fish of your choice to make this curry. I prefer coconut oil to prepare this dish as it gives a rich flavour. Serve this delicious fish curry after three or four hours of making. Its flavour will mature and It is even tastier if you have it the next day.

It goes best with steamed rice, pathiri, appam, idiyappam. Try making this simple curry at home and enjoy with your family.


Coconut oil- 2 tbsp


Ginger-1 tsp(chopped)

Garlic- 4 cloves

Coconut- 1 ¼ cup(grated)

Shallots-5 or 6 no’s

Turmeric- ½ tsp

Kashmiri red chilli powder- 3 tbsp

Coriander powder- 2 tbsp

Kodumpulli (Malabar tamrind)-4 (small one washed and soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)

Green chilli-2 slit

Water – 2 cups + 1cup for grinding the coconut paste

Salt- as per your taste

For Seasoning

Coconut oil -2 tbsp

Fenugreek seeds- 1/2tsp

Shallots-7 no’s (thinly sliced)

Curry leaves- a handful

Kashmiri red chilli powder-1/2tsp


Wash and clean the fish nicely and keep it aside.

Heat coconut oil in a saucepan on a low medium flame. Add chopped ginger-garlic to it. Sauté it till it turns light golden. Now on a low flame add the masalas -Turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder carefully. Sauté this for a minute and then switch off the flame. Now add grated coconut and mix it nicely with the masalas.

Transfer this to mixer grinder. Add shallots into it. Pour 1 cup of water and grind this into a fine paste. Transfer this into an earthen pot. Add two cups of water to this mix. Combine it nicely. (Add water according to your gravy consistency)

Add green chillies , soaked kodumpulli/Malabar tamarind (discard the soaked water), and salt to taste.

Switch on the flame and let the curry boil. Just when it starts to boil, close the lid and let the curry simmer for 5 minutes on low medium flame.

Now add the pieces of fish and let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes on a low medium flame until you notice oil on the sides. Switch of the flame.

For Seasoning

Heat a saucepan on a low medium flame. Add coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add fenugreek seeds. After the fenugreek seeds splutter, add chopped shallots, curry leaves.

When the shallots turn golden in colour, add the red chilli powder. Sauté this and turn off the flame. Pour this seasoning into the curry. Now close it with a lid until you serve the curry.

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