Malabar Fish Curry (Red & Spicy Kerala Fish Curry)



Rice and fish are like the staple foods of Kerala, or South-India, in general. Two of the most popular types of fish curry prepared by Keralites are … yellow curry and red curry 😛 (That’s what I call them 😀 )

My Mom’s side, they make fish curry this way, the red and spicy way. But on my Dad’s side, they make the yellow style, which is basically fish cooked in coconut milk and sour mangoes.

So my Mom (in-law) promised to teach me to prepare fish, both ways. This is her recipe for the red kind-of curry. 😀


Fish – 750 gm   (Wash well in lime and salt water)
Coconut Oil – 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 0.5 tsp
Chopped Onions – 1 handful
Shallots (small onions) – 6 (chopped)
Chopped Garlic – 2 tbsp
Chopped Ginger – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek (Uluva/Methi) – 0.5 tsp
Curry leaves – a handful
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 4 tbsp
Boiled water – as required
Malabar Tamarind (Kudampuli) – 1 handful
Salt – as per taste

Step 1: In a non-stick  pan, heat some oil. Add in mustard, fenugreek and curry leaves.

Step 2: After a minute or two, add in the onions, ginger and garlic. Saute until the onions turn light brown.

Step 3: Mix in the turmeric and chilli powder, and give it a good stir, until the powder seems/smells like toast. Now add in half a cup of boiled water and saute until the oil separates.

Step 4: Add in the fish and coat well with the prepared masala. Cook for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Tip in a big handful of washed kudampuli.


Kudampuli / Malabar Tamarind

Step 6: Pour boiled water up to the level of the fish, such that the fish pieces are well immersed. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until done.




2 thoughts on “Malabar Fish Curry (Red & Spicy Kerala Fish Curry)

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