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Special Kerala Fish Curry

21 Feb 2024
Special Kerala Fish Curry - Spice Basket


  • Fish . - 8 -12 pieces

For Paste

  • Ginger – ½ cup finely chopped
  • Garlic - ½ cup finely chopped
  • Shallots - 3-4 finely chopped

For the curry:

  • Spice Basket coconut oil - 1 tbsp
  • Spice Basket Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Spice Basket Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
  • Shallots - 2-3 finely chopped
  • Curry leaves - 8-10
  • Garlic - ¼ cup finely chopped
  • Ginger - ¼ cup finely chopped
  • Spice Basket special fish Masala - 2tbsp (adjust to taste)
  • Kudam Puli pot tamarind – 3-4 stars (soak it in 2 cups of water)


  • Clean and cut the fish. Smaller fish like Mackerel need not be cut.
  • Grind all the ingredients under ‘for paste’ into coarse paste and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add 1 tsp full of Spice Basket coconut oil.
  • Add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot enough.
  • As the mustard seeds splutter, add the fenugreek seeds.
  • When the fenugreek seeds turn brown, add the chopped shallots, chopped ginger and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes or until the mixture turns brown.
  • Tip in spice paste and sauté until golden brown. This mixture needs to be stirred constantly as it may stick to the pan.
  • Add Spice Basket special fish masala and cook this mixture for about 2 minutes under very low flame. A higher flame may cause the chilly to burn.
  • Now, add 1 cup of water to this mixture and bring it to boil. Continue heating until it becomes thicker in consistency and attains a deep red color.
  • Add 1 ½ cups of water to this mixture and bring it to boil.
  • Now add salt, curry leaves and drained kudam puli (pot tamarind) into this watery mixture and keep aside.
  • Take a clay pot/ pan and arrange the first batch of fish on the pan in a layer.
  • Transfer half of the curry mixture to the pan, spreading evenly over the layer of fish.
  • Now add the next batch of fish, placing them over the already existing batch of fish.
  • Pour in the rest of the curry and cook it on medium flame for about 15-20 minutes depending on the kind of fish.
  • Season it with some more curry leaves. In a typical Kerala style, you may also add a few drops of coconut oil and keep it aside for at least 30 minutes. This helps the fish to soak in the curry and attains its special sour and spicy taste.
  • Kerala Fish Curry goes well with rice cooked with Spice Basket Nadan Kuthary. 
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