Malabar Fish Curry

So… we are meeting after a small break.

This break wasn't planned. In fact, I had put together some recipes for Onam, but with the Kerala floods and all, I didnt feel like posting it. Before we get into the recipe, I wanted to thank you for responding to my last post about the flood.

From what I read and hear, life is getting back to normal in Kerala. However, the situation is still not that good for a large number of people. Hope it gets better in the coming days.

Now, about this recipe. I had posted this recipe long time ago. I was first introduced to this recipe by one of the cooks at my parent's place. This fish curry is quite different from what we normally make at home.

This recipe gives you the taste of northern Kerala. It uses ground coconut and tamarind (instead of cocum) for the sauce. The combination of tamarind and coconut gives a distinct flavour to this dish. It goes very well with rice. As I've told many times before, I'm not a rice fan, but this fish curry with rice is one of my fav combos.

I've updated the recipe with step by step pictures and a new picture of the end product. Hope you give it a try and like it too.

Before we go to the recipe… On more small request related to Kerala floods.

My friend Divya (whose recipes I've shared here) has asked me to share the details of a Harvest Festival organized by their Church (St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Raleigh, NC). They are hosting their annual Harvest Festival (Hearts and Hands for Kerala Disaster Relief Fund) to raise money to support this cause. 100% of the profits will be sent as direct aid to those in affected areas.

This harvest festival will be a perfect family entertainer complete with kids game zone, entertainment,dancing, auction and stellar cuisine. You can see more details about the festival here. If you are anywhere near the place or if you've friends and family in that area, please share this or  join the harvest festival since it's for a good cause. Thanks!

Here is the recipe…

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Malabar Fish Curry

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 2 -3
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 275 - 300 gms Cleaned Fish (Check notes)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 1/4 cups Grated coconut
  • 2 - 3 Green chilli
  • 1.5 tsp Chopped ginger
  • 1.5 tsp Chilli powder
  • A small lemon size Tamarind
  • 4 Small / Pearl Onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • Salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Curry leaves


  • Grind together coconut & turmeric powder with 1/2 cup water for 2-3 mins. Add 1/4 cup water to this and grind for 3-4 mins,till it becomes a smooth paste.
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  • Make a tamarind paste by adding 1/3 cup water to it. Add green chilli, chilli powder, chopped ginger & salt to tamarind paste & mix well.
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  • Take a Manchatti (clay pot) or a wide pan. Add coconut paste, tamarind paste and 1 cup water to this. Mix well. Bring it to boil. 
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  • Add cleaned fish pieces to this. Bring to boil and reduce flame to lowest. Cover and cook for 15 - 20mins or till the fish pieces are done and gravy (sauce) becomes thick. 
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  • Heat oil in a pan & splutter mustard seeds. Add sliced small / pearl onion & curry leaves. Stir till the onion becomes brown & pour this over the fish curry. Drizzle some coconut oil. Remove the curry from fire. 
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I used pomfret for this recipe. You can use any fish of your choice (it can be kingfish, mackerel, pomfret or even prawns).
Let the curry rest for half an hour, before serving, for the flavours to settle in.
This curry has a thick gravy (sauce). However you can add more water to adjust the consistency. 
Tried this recipe? Let others know by...mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu


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