Kerala Fish Curry With Coconut Milk

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 3 -4
Author: Maria Jose Martin
A traditional Kerala style fish curry. Fish cooked with spices in coconut milk and flavored with Kudampuli (kokum). Perfect with rice.
Print Recipe


  • 1/2 kg King fish (neimeen)
  • 1 small Onion sliced
  • 8-10 Small onion / shallots sliced
  • 1 tbsp Crushed ginger & garlic each
  • 2-3 Green Chilly slit lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek powder
  • 2-4 pieces Cocum (kudampuli) (refer notes)
  • 2 cups Medium thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup Thick coconut Milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Curry leaves


  • Heat oil in a manchatti (claypot) or a deep pan. Add crushed ginger & garlic & saute. Add small onion, onion, green chilli and stir. When the onion starts to brown add the masala powders. Cook this on low flame for 2-3 mins or till oil starts appearing.
  • Add cocum and salt. Add medium thick coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Reduce flame to the lowest and add cleaned fish pieces. Cook till the fish pieces are done, it will take around 20 - 25 mins on low flame. Add thick coconut milk and rotate the pan. Cook on low flame for 5-7 mins. Remove from fire.
  • The curry should be rested for sometime to help the flavours settle. It is ideal to make it one day in advance. It keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days.


If the cocoum is too dry, soak it in 2 tbspn hot water for 10- 15 mins and add it to the masala along with the water. The qty of cocoum depends on how strong it is. You can start with adding 2 pieces and add more later on if required. Also, after making the curry, if you feel the taste of cocoum is too strong, remove a few pieces from the curry.
The curry tends to thicken as it rests, so adjust the qty of gravy accordingly. The cooking time of fish varies depending on the type and size of fish used.
We didnt do any tempering for this, but if you prefer you can crackle some mustard and add it to the curry. You can use any fleshy fish to make this curry.