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Spicy Nellore Chepala Pulusu – Andhra Fish Curry

by | Apr 12, 2015 | 113 comments

CHEPALA PULUSU (1)

Spicy Nellore Chepala Pulusu – Andhra Fish Curry

Nellore Chepala Pulusu. Tangy Andhra Style Telugu Fish curry in tamarind Sauce. 

Nellore Chepala Pulusu – Andhra Style Telugu Fish Curry – I first saw about this recipe on a cooking show run by Chef Venkatesh Bhat. I love regional recipes a lot. They can’t be beat any day. On top of that, the Chef mentioned that he learned the Nellore Chepala Pulusu recipe at the farm house of the legendary actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao. The chef said that he loved this Nellore Chepala Pulusu fish curry. That was good enough to get me cooking. I have made it several times now and we love this Nellore Chepala Pulusu recipe at home too. Nellore Chepala Pulusu is tangy, spicy and finger licking good. The original Nellore Chepala Pulusu recipe did not have pepper and coriander  but a lot of cookbooks mention it. I have made it both ways and I think the addition of pepper adds a little earthiness to the dish. Here is my adapted version of Nellore Chepala Pulusu – ANR Style.

Here is the video recipe of how to make Spicy Nellore Chepala Pulusu – Andhra Fish Curry

Heat 4-6 tablespoons of Gingely (sesame) Oil in a pan. Be generous with the oil. Add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves. Lots of curry leaves. I used about 3 sprigs. Fry until the curry leaves are crisp.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-curry-leaves

Add in the finely minced garlic, chopped green chillies and finely chopped shallots (small onions). Add green chillies according to your taste. Fry till they are lightly brown. The oil will bubble up if you are using gingely oil. Its fine.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-garlic-onion

Soak a big lemon size tamarind in 2 cups of hot water. Let it soak for 20 minutes. Make a pulp by squeezing the tamarind well. Strain the pulp to get rid of the seeds. Set aside.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-tamarind

Puree 6 tomatoes in a blender. Set aside.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-tomatoes

Add in the tomato puree and the tamarind pulp. Add in a teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder and 3 teaspoons of coriander powder (dhania). The ratio being 1:2:3. Add in the salt. Add 2 more cup of water.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-cook

Simmer the gravy for 30 minutes covered on a low flame stirring every 5 minutes once. After 30 minutes the oil would start to float on top. That is a sure sign that the gravy has been cooked.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-simmer

Add in the fish pieces and let it cook for 7-8 minutes on low flame. Fresh water fish works well for this recipe.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-fish

When the fish is cooking, lets make a spice powder for the curry. Heat a heavy pan and dry roast fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and black pepper on a low flame for 5 minutes. Low flame is key. Do not rush. Dry roast until everything starts to pop and starts to brown. Remove from heat and cool on a plate. If you are doing more than this quantity, dry roast everything separately.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-spice

Once the mixture is cooled, grind to a very fine powder.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-spice-powder

Add the powder to the pan. Simmer for a minute. Remove Nellore Chepala Pulusu off heat and serve hot.

Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-Curry-Recipe-finishing-powder

Serve Nellore Chepala Pulusu with hot rice. Left overs can be stored in the refrigerator and tastes heavenly the next day.

Nellore-chepala-pulusu-andhra-fish-curry-recipe-1

Here is a printable recipe for Nellore Chepala Pulusu.

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Nellore-Chepala-Pulusu-Andhra-Telugu-Fish-curry-Recipes

Spicy Nellore Chepala Pulusu – Andhra Fish Curry

Nellore Chepala Pulusu. Tangy Andhra Style Telugu Fish curry in tamarind Sauce. Recipe from Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s House. Adapted from Chef Venkatesh Bhat.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 5 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Main Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoon gingely (Indian sesame) oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1520 shallots (small onions)
  • 1 lime size tamarind
  • 6 very ripe tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 3 teaspoons coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 500 grams fresh water fish with bones
  • 4 cups water (divided)

For the Spice Powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat 6-8 tablespoons of Gingely (sesame) Oil in a pan. Be generous with the oil. Add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves. Fry until the curry leaves are crisp.
  2. Add in the finely minced garlic, chopped green chillies and finely chopped shallots (small onions). Add green chillies according to your taste. Fry till they are lightly brown. The oil will bubble up if you are using gingely oil. Its fine.
  3. Soak a big lemon size tamarind in 2 cups of hot water. Let it soak for 20 minutes. Make a pulp by squeezing the tamarind well. Strain the pulp to get rid of the seeds. Set aside.
  4. Puree 6 tomatoes in a blender. Set aside.
  5. Add in the tomato puree and the tamarind pulp. Add in a teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder and 3 teaspoons of coriander powder (dhania). The ratio being 1:2:3. Add in the salt. Add 2 more cups of water.
  6. Simmer the gravy for 30 minutes covered on a low flame stirring every 5 minutes once. After 30 minutes the oil would start to float on top. That is a sure sign that the gravy has been cooked.
  7. Add in the fish pieces and let it cook for 7-8 minutes on low flame. Fresh water fish works well for this recipe.
  8. When the fish is cooking, lets make a spice powder for the curry. Heat a heavy pan and dry roast fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and black pepper on a low flame for 5 minutes. Low flame is key. Do not rush. Dry roast until everything starts to pop and starts to brown. Remove from heat and cool on a plate. Once the mixture is cooled, grind to a very fine powder.
  9. Add the powder to the pan. Simmer for a minute. Remove off heat and serve hot with rice.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Non-Veg
  • Cuisine: South Indian

nellore-pulusu-nl

113 Comments

  1. Vivekananda patro

    During fish pulusu if you add raw mangoes taste will increase of fish pulusu, and it’s authentic Nellore fish pulusu

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thanks for the input Vivekananda. Will definitely try.

      Reply
  2. Reema B

    Absolutely enjoyed making it most of all seeing my husband enjoy eating was something else🤗
    Thank you for sharing🙏🏼

    Reply
  3. Rochelle

    Excellent! This is my go to recipe every single time.

    Reply
  4. Padma

    Excellent, i tried it at home …






    Reply
  5. Uroosa

    I have already tried this recipe 3 times. Turns out great everytime.






    Reply
  6. ASHOK BABU KANDULA

    You are the best. I became this recipe expert just because of you. God Bless U.






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thank you so much Ashok. Stay safe and happy cooking 🙂

      Reply
  7. k.vara prasad

    an easy method n
    simply superb






    Reply
  8. Prathima

    Excellent I tried today it waa too yummy . Thanks for the beautiful n simple dish ..

    Reply
  9. Komal

    Suguna! I have to thank you immensely for this recipe. I am originally from Maharashtra and had developed a great affinity towards this delicacy. I have been trying to get this recipe right for the last 10 years but never got it right. Your recipe worked wonders! It was as much a pleasure to read as easy it was to follow. I think you are the best cook! My dish turned out wonderful!!!! My family will enjoy our dinner today. Thanks to you! From now on I am your fan! 😍😍






    Reply
  10. Prema

    I tried it today. Beside, the mixed ground spices to be sprinkled on top i made it as it is. Its out of this world
    The family had this with steamed rice n thoran. Thanks so much. God bless!






    Reply
  11. Ekshwin

    Where’s the quantity of measures? The 6 tomatoes and 1 big sized lemon of tamarind pulp will suits for how many kilos of fish.?

    Reply
  12. Rama Reddy

    I’ve made this recipe so many times and it always turns out great! My mother-in-law is from Nellore and makes good fish pulusu but everybody at home say this is even better. Thank you so very much for sharing this!!!






    Reply
  13. Puja Naik

    Can we make it with tuna fish

    Reply
  14. satyasairajesh

    came out really well.






    Reply
  15. Satish Reddy

    When you are already adding coriander powder initially , there is no need to add again the coriander second time.
    This will make curry bitter .

    Reply
  16. Priya

    Can you please tell me the weight of the tomatoes in this recipe?

    Reply
  17. Harsha

    Can i make it with salmon?






    Reply
  18. Aravind

    I followed the exact procedure…It was awesome..My friends loved it..thaNks ..






    Reply
  19. Sanath

    Hi Suguna Madam,

    Tried this Fish curry for the 1st time. Came out really really well. I have never eaten this Chepala pulusu, but thanks to you Madam, thoroughly enjoyed this spicy and awesome recipe here at Melbourne….Thanks once again Suguna Madam.






    Reply
  20. Geeta

    Made your recipe today with some minor variations; it was very tasty!

    – used light olive oil
    – used very little tamarind to lower the sourness
    – reduced the amount of pepper and chilies so the that the kids could eat as well

    Thanks Kannamma!

    Reply
  21. Madhu

    Hi. Great recipe. Can I make it with prawns instead of fish??

    Reply
  22. virginia theresa

    good recipe suguna garu can i try this from appolo fish

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Hi Virginia,
      Any firm fish will work.
      Thanks.

      Reply
  23. Tanuja

    Thank you for the great dish.






    Reply
  24. Rajesh

    Thanks suguna Garu
    Pl want to know chicken polish recipe..

    Reply
  25. Divya rani

    Very yummy recipe, everyone in my house ate this recipe. I have got many complements, thank u soon much






    Reply
  26. Absa

    I tried this recipe last night with tuna. For me there were two firsts here- this was the first time I made tuna and the first time I used gingelly oil for fish. Have always made fish using either mustard oil or coconut oil. But my mother and I simply loved this…was too sour for my husband’s taste. Am going to repeat this with sardines soon. Do visit my place too: http://everydayandnotsoeveryday.blogspot.in/

    Reply
  27. Satish

    Awesome recipe. I am originally from Nellore but was never able to cook a good Fish Pulusu. This recipe is perfect and evokes my childhood memories.






    Reply
  28. Samirah

    I made this curry today and it was amazing. it was spicy, runny nose yet we couldn’t stop eating.

    Out of curiosity… Can we use this curry for chicken instead of fish?

    Reply
  29. Prakruti

    Hello Kannamma,

    Could you please clarify a few things? Can the shallots (small onions) be replaced by regular onions or will that alter the taste too much? Also, is there no ginger in this?

    Thanks so much again for posting these marvelous and accessible recipes 🙂

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Sure you can use onions. Shallots have a very nice taste and flavour though.

      Reply
  30. Michelle

    This was excellent. I think I may have used too many tomatoes. Could you specify a cup size or weight? I think our tomatoes in the USA can be large.






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Yes. Tomatoes and onions are double the size in the USA. After blending the tomatoes, it should be about 1.5 cup

      Reply
  31. Lokesh

    I have got pangush fish….. can I try the recipe?






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      You mean basa? Pangasius?? I feel that basa fish is tasteless. I would avoid basa fish.

      Reply
  32. Mohan

    I really like fish curry and tried numerous ways by some surfing in net. But i got best taste with this recipe only

    Thank you kannama garu






    Reply
  33. Rekha Rajesh

    It is yummy 🙂






    Reply
  34. Lalitha

    Haiyooo akka tons n tons of love to u ka… tried fish curry todai… its semma yummy o yummy ka esp the spicy powder wid coriander n pepper semma ka. Your a five star chef ka Ella recipes um turns out five star level.. usually I wont read top description ka ana Ungaloda description romba azhagha iruku ka n very informative too. Daily am visiting your blog ka. Thanks s lott ka.
    With love,
    Lalitha






    Reply
  35. B M Naidu

    We have prepared as per the recipe, it was delicious. i am very much thankful for bringing such delicious dishes to this platform.

    Reply
  36. San

    Tried for the first time a fish receipe.. It came out very tasty..thank u so much..learned how to prepare fish for my family.

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thats so nice San. Really glad that you liked it!

      Reply
  37. Prem

    Would I be using equal proportions of all ingredients for the below masala? I haven’t tried the recipe yet but I am sure this is a 5 star recipe.

    “When the fish is cooking, lets make a spice powder for the curry. Heat a heavy pan and dry roast fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and black pepper on a low flame for 5 minutes. Low flame is key. Do not rush. Dry roast until everything starts to pop and starts to brown. Remove from heat and cool on a plate. Once the mixture is cooled, grind to a very fine powder.”






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      These are the measurements. They are given in the ingredients section at the bottom. Please check.
      For the Spice Powder
      ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
      1 teaspoon mustard seeds
      2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1 teaspoon coriander seeds
      1 teaspoon black pepper

      Reply
  38. ravindra negi

    Nice recipe

    Reply
  39. Ramya SonaiRaja

    Nandri solla unnaku varthai illai ennaku…
    ?
    Wonderful recipie
    It came out so well
    Mouth watering recipie
    ??






    Reply
  40. TRIBHUVAN SINGH

    Awesome
    i made it
    its very tasty

    Reply
  41. Amitha

    Thank you for excellent recipe ..i tried so many times …super…






    Reply
  42. Asma

    Hi dear. I tried your recipe so many times. It came out perfectly. Once I even added coconut milk too because I needed curry to serve more than ten people. Whenever I think of fish curry, I go for this recipe. Thanks for Sharing. Without you, I couldn’t have tasted it. Thanks a lot






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      That’s so nice. Coconut milk should have made the curry even rich. I should try that myself.

      Reply
  43. Divyaboni

    I tried this recipe it tasted little sour what may be the reason??

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      You can reduce the tamarind if you don’t like the sourness.

      Reply
  44. Jyothi

    I love only fish fry bcoz i dont know how to make fish curry but now when i tried this recipe i regret why i din try it before. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe..






    Reply
  45. Sandeep Rajini

    Thank you for the excellent rescipe along with pics. I tried this dish and my whole house filled with great smell. Thanks once again madam.






    Reply
  46. Sabari

    I tried this recipe and got addicted to it .. excellent recipe sugunakka ?

    Reply
  47. Raghuveer

    Greetings,

    Thank you for this excellent recipe, and for the pictures which enhance the directions.

    A few questions:

    1. In the last step, you mention that cumin, pepper etc. need to be “dry roasted”, so do we really need the oil? (preceding sentence).

    2. Is it enough to let the dry roast powder simmer for just a minute?

    3. What fish do you recommend? I did notice you said “fresh farm fish” but does this taste better with anything particular like tilapia or salmon?

    Thank you in advance for the clarifications.

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Hi Raghuveer, thanks for letting me know. There is no oil in the dry roasting. My mistake. Have updated.
      Yes. a simmer is enough.
      Salmon will work perfectly fine. Tilapia too! The curry will be more tasty with fish still with bones. filet works fine but the bones impart a lot of flavor.
      Thank You!

      Reply
  48. Jagadeesh

    Forgot to add salt I think

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      oh! how did that happen? Try adding at the end!

      Reply
  49. Dr. Rajasekhar Kali Venkata

    Really great help for people like me. Am really cooking good by watching your info on recipes. Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  50. manasa

    taste is awesome and its my first time cooking of fish and came very well thank u sooo much…i mean it:)

    Reply
  51. Vipina

    Hi
    This is the first time I am trying a recipe from Ur blog..that too nellore chepala pulusu…it came very well..my dad liked a lot…thank u so much for the recipe..

    Reply
  52. Kandaswamy E

    SPICY NELLORE CHEPALA PULUSU – ANDHRA FISH CURRY gets unanimous five star rating from all. This reminds me of the song from “Mullum malarum “- …..Nethu vechha meen Kuzambhu enna Izukhudhaiya……..

    Reply
  53. Kandaswamy E

    Kallakitenga…. kannamma. This is my third item from your blog.

    1) Murugal Dosai (Five star rating from family)
    2) Chicken Chintamani (Five star rating especially from daughter)
    3) Andhra fish curry … nallaa vandhurukku (waiting for rating)

    And the list is going to continue….

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Aww…thats so cute. Thank you so much Kandaswamy. Your comment really means a lot to me.

      Reply
  54. CP

    Hi,

    I tried your recipe today and it came out very very good. Thanks.

    CP

    Reply
  55. Suja

    Thanks for the Recipe, tried it today and tasted very good.

    Reply
  56. haripriya

    Hi dear your recipe was very tasty i tried fish pulusu for first time by seeing your recipe and it turned out very yummy thank u so much………

    Reply
  57. Raji

    This is an excellent recipe.I make this every week and I can’t believe I can make very good fish curry.Thank you so much Kannamma.

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thanks Raji. Really glad that you like it!

      Reply
  58. Shalaka

    Which fish is it?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Any fresh water fish with the bone will work!

      Reply
  59. anjaneyulu

    very naic

    Reply
  60. Ramya

    Hi Suguna,

    I was searching or slow cooker recipes and landed on you site. And was i lucky or what!!! I am from Karnataka married to tamil guy who loves his mom’s cooking(Who doesnt right!!). I have tried so many of your recipes and my husband and daughter are all ga ga about them. Today I m planning to try chepala pulusu. Thanks a bunch for all you recipes. I like to learn new items and your site has enough for long!!
    Keep posting 🙂






    Reply
  61. hareesh jr

    Nice Recipe .. 🙂






    Reply
  62. Martin

    Hello,
    This is not nellore chepala pulusu receipe, please not misguide people

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Hi Martin,
      Can you tell us why this recipe misguides people?
      This recipe comes from a chef with more than 30 years experience in south indian food. If this is not authentic, I donno what is.

      Reply
    • Priya

      Please don’t post rude comments with no merit. There is a respectful way to voice your opinions; I suggest you learn to do that.

      Reply
  63. V

    Very good recipe. came out well.






    Reply
    • Arshad

      having fish by your cooking style is wonderful experience. I get the yummy taste

      Thanks Suguna

      Reply

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