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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


  • 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


  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

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