Kerala Fish Curry Recipe

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Kerala style fish curry made with Kodampuli – Malabar Tamarind and Sardines (Mathi Meen). Spicy fish curry made with coconut milk. Recipe with step by step pictures and video.

I have a long time friend called Linish who is an ultimate foodie. Seafood is his favorite and his eternal love is with Sardines (Mathi Meen). His sense of humor and timing cant be beat. Every time we make Sardines at home, I think about him while cooking. He has had that kind of influence on me. He is into the film industry and the struggle there is so real. On top of all this, I just love the way how he manages to keep his cool. His timeline is filled with jokes on everyday life as it happens. He just makes me laugh instantly almost every single day with his jokes and memes. Here is a sample of Sardine memes!
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Here are some of the products you can buy online for making this recipe

Pottery Earthen Kadai https://amzn.to/3J9OqMJ
Kudampuli/ Malabar Tamarind https://amzn.to/3gtpsvG
Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil https://amzn.to/3B7lAtM

Here is the video of how to make Kerala Fish Curry Recipe with coconut milk

This Mathi Meen Curry is made with Kodampuli – Malabar Tamarind. Kodambuli – Malabar Tamarind is a dried fruit used in curries as a souring agent. Kodampuli is soaked in water briefly and added to curries. It gives the curries a sweet sourness and its slightly smoky.
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Here is how to make the curry
Heat coconut oil in a pan (preferably an earthen pot) and add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
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Crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add it to the pan along with chopped Indian shallots (Indian small onions) and slit green chillies. Add in the salt. Adding the salt now will help prevent the ginger and garlic from sticking to the pan.
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Saute till the onions are soft and starting to brown.
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In the mean time, make a paste of turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Add few tablespoons of water and make a thick paste. If you want a fiery looking red curry, use Kashmiri red chilli powder.
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Add the paste to the curry and sauté well for 3-4 minutes until the masala paste is completely cooked. Streaks of oil will start appearing from the mixture. Its a sign that the masalas are cooked.
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Once the paste is well cooked, add in half a cup of water.
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Soak the Kodampuli in a cup of water for 5 minutes.
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Add in the soaked kodampuli along with the water used. Do not squeeze or puree the kodampuli like you would do to tamarind. Just add the soaked kodampuli to the pan.
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Close the pan with a lid and let it simmer for five minutes. Add in a cup of second pressed coconut milk.
Here is the recipe for making coconut milk at home.
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Also add in the fish to the pan. I have used Mathi Meen – Sardines today.
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Close the pan with a lid and let the curry simmer for 6 minutes. Sardines cook very fast.
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Remove the curry from heat and allow the curry to rest for at-least a couple of hours so the flavors mature. It tastes better the next day.
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Serve with rice. Without the rice, this is a perfect low-carb, high fat dish for anyone on the ketogenic diet.
Kerala Fish Curry

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Kerala Fish Curry Recipe

Kerala style fish curry made with Kodampuli – Malabar Tamarind and Sardines (Mathi Meen). Spicy fish curry made with coconut milk. Recipe with step by step pictures.

  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 10 Indian small onions (shallots)
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder (use more for a spicy curry)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3 pieces kodampuli, malabar tamarind
  • 1 cup coconut milk (lite milk)
  • 250 grams Sardine / Mathi Meen

Instructions

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan (preferably an earthen pot) and add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
  2. Crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add it to the pan along with chopped Indian shallots (Indian small onions) and slit green chillies. Add in the salt.
  3. Saute till the onions are soft and starting to brown.
  4. In the mean time, make a paste of turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Add few tablespoons of water and make a thick paste.
  5. Add the paste to the curry and sauté well for 3-4 minutes until the masala paste is completely cooked.
  6. Once the paste is well cooked, add in half a cup of water.
  7. Soak the Kodampuli in a cup of water for 5 minutes. Add in the kodampuli along with the water used. Close the pan with a lid and let it simmer for five minutes. Add in a cup of second pressed coconut milk.
  8. Also add in the fish to the pan.
  9. Close the pan with a lid and let the curry simmer for 6 minutes. Sardines cook very fast.
  10. Remove the curry from heat and allow the curry to rest for at-least a couple of hours so the flavors mature. It tastes better the next day.
  11. Serve with rice.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Kerala

Keywords: kerala fish curry

89 thoughts on “Kerala Fish Curry Recipe”

  1. I recently tried the Kerala Fish Curry recipe from Kannamma Cooks, and it was an absolute delight. The flavors were authentic and reminded me of the traditional fish curries I’ve enjoyed in Kerala. The recipe was easy to follow, and the use of Kodampuli added a unique taste that really elevated the dish. It’s wonderful to find a recipe that captures the essence of Kerala cuisine so well. Definitely a must-try for anyone who loves a good, spicy fish curry!






  2. Hi I Am Milton.
    I Am verry interested for this recipe.
    This Curry Fish recipe is an absolute game-changer! The blend of aromatic spices creates a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds. The combination of tender fish chunks and rich, savory curry sauce is pure perfection. I followed the recipe step by step, and the result was a mouthwatering dish that impressed everyone at the dinner table. The spices were perfectly balanced, and the fish absorbed the delicious curry goodness. It’s a fantastic way to elevate your seafood game and introduce a burst of exotic flavors to your meals. This Curry Fish recipe has become a staple in my kitchen, and I can’t wait to share it with friends and family. Thanks for read.

  3. Awesome recipe! Turned out super delicious. Have tried it with Matti earlier. Used Basa this time and was super too. The outcome is exactly as per the recipe and so simple to follow. Loved the right combination of chilly and sour tastes. The shallots add to the texture and enhance the taste.
    Tried it with and without coconut milk. This one is with coconut milk and I went a bit overboard with it!
    Thanks Kannamma/ Suguna….will be trying each of your recipes.
    I even cooked it last night without following your recipe as the site was down just when I started preps for cooking🤦🏽‍♀️

    Thanks a ton!….again






  4. Absolutely tasty outcome and very simple to follow. Love the perfect combination of chilli and sour – kodampuli and Kashmiri chilli powder does the trick. The shallots change the whole texture. I cooked it with basa and was a treat! Thanks Kannamma. Also cooked yesterday without the exact recipe open as the site was down exactly when I started preps for dinner.






  5. I am so happy I tried this recipe. It came out very tasty. Very easy to follow. I cook it without green chilly because stomach issues, still it is good.
    Thank you very much for posting this recipe.






  6. Loved it. It’s been a week and I take little by little and relish it. I r awesome 😍👌

  7. I made this curry less spicy and with Cod. It turned out super delicious ! Thanks for these super recipes !

  8. Over a decade ago I lived in Varkala for several months, quite near the temple. This recipe is very reminiscent of the local Kerala restaurants. The taste of the sardines and spice is beautifully authentic. It has become a great favourite of mine and I now cook it regularly for visitors who, having tried it once, like it so much they want it again. Indeed, I’ve just finished preparing it yet again for diner tomorrow at the request of visiting friends. Now, that has to be the very best recommendation any recipe can have! Thanks so much for posting. ATB, John Bruce.






  9. Over fifteen years ago for several months when on sabbatical I lived in a rented house off Temple Road, Varkala. I travelled the coast between Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. This fish curry reminds me exactly of that wonderful time. It was my basic everyday evening meal and I’m cooking it tonight for friends. Alas! No kodampuli in this part of England but I’ve tamarind so that will have to do. Thank you very much for your recipe. It has a special place in my heart.






  10. Poornima Menon

    Looks nice and easy. Dont we have to use the first cold pressed milk in the end? if not, can i cook vila meen in second milk and then add first in the end?

  11. Hi, thank you for the yummy recipe. I am not able to get the color right as per your picture. Pls help…

  12. I have tamarind concentrate, but can I add kokam instead of kodampuli to give it that taste?

  13. Hi Kannamma,

    Amazing recipe! Tried it out last month. Turned out mouth watering. Went for it again today. Even Mom, who normally follows only her own recipes says that your recipe is a must have. Rock on!






  14. My grandmother was the best cook in the family, but as she’s gotten older her taste buds and memory have withered. She’s not the “teacherly” type, so she never passed on her recipes.

    So many of your recipes get me within a hair’s breadth of her old classics, and I can tinker myself the rest of the way for those specific flavors from my childhood.

    Thank you for helping me fulfill my cravings and share my cultural cuisine with my partner, who thought Indian food was all samosa and dahl. Today, he went back for seconds of this, which was my childhood favorite (although Amumma used to make it with chemeen). He’s a culinary artist himself, so it was a huge honor that he went back for more.






  15. I have a doubt about adding coconut milk. Please explain if the kottayam fish curry adds it.

  16. Chechi. I made the Fish curry following the recipe to a T and it came out perfect like my mom’s. (mom passed away 7 years ago and we’ve missed her cooking a lot).
    Thanks for the recipe.

  17. Very good Recipe! Tried it and everyone loved the fish curry. I used the sardines in the tin but came out so tasty. Thanks!






  18. Hallo kannamma
    I tried it meen Kari .me and my friend s like it to
    IAM living in in Canada and also I shared this my family friends also thanks






  19. Nice fish curry recipe but is it ok to add kodampulli water alone with curry paste or need to add the Kodampulli also with curry paste

    1. Add in the soaked kodampuli along with the water used. Do not squeeze or puree the kodampuli like you would do to tamarind. Just add the soaked kodampuli to the pan.

  20. The recipe looks so delicious. I just love your posts. I have tried it in my home and everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing such tasty recipe






  21. Priyaa Shanmugham

    Hi Suguna,

    I love your recipes and have tried several of them. You are on target with the proportions and spices.
    I live in the US so tour recipes make me feel closer to home. Thank you.

    For this recipe if I don’t get kodum puli can I get the same flavor with regular tamarind? I don’t think the Indian store here has it.

    Thanks!

  22. Aaron Arul kumar

    Mouth is Full with your fishcurry .l Love the hot Curry the best thank you for the rept so everyone can tast to satisfly .






  23. I live in Kolkata. I dont know what is mathi meen. Can u give me the English or Hindi name or.will any small fish can be cooked this way? Can I cook.pomfret this way?






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