Kerala Fish Curry

Kerala fish curry
  • Yield : 1
  • Servings : 4-5
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 35m
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Kerala Fish Curry / Meen Curry – without coconut

Kerala fish curry or Meen curry can be prepared in many ways. Here you can try a traditional fish curry recipe without using coconut or coconut milk. This dish is also called as toddy shop fish curry. Fish is a good source of nutritional contents like Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Usually Kerala fish curry (meen curry) is prepared in open mouthed earthenware pot for better taste. It can be prepared by adding coconut or without using coconut.


  • Fish (any) - ½ kg
  • Kashmiri Chilli powder (കാശ്മീരി മുളകുപൊടി) - 2½ Table spoon
  • Turmeric powder (മഞ്ഞള്‍പൊടി) - 1 Pinch
  • Kukum star(കുടംപുളി) - 3 Pieces
  • Ginger (ഇഞ്ചി) - 1 Inch Piece
  • Garlic (വെളുത്തുള്ളി) - 6 Cloves
  • Shallot (ചെറിയ ഉള്ളി) - 6 Nos
  • Curry leaves (കറിവേപ്പില) - 1 Sprig
  • Fenugreek seeds (ഉലുവ) - ½ Tea Spoon
  • Mustard seeds (കടുക്) - ½ Tea Spoon
  • Coconut Oil (വെളിച്ചെണ്ണ) - 2½ Table Spoon
  • Salt (ഉപ്പ്) – to taste


Step 1

Clean the fish and keep aside.

Step 2

Soak kukum star in 2 cup of hot water with little salt added in it.

Step 3

Chop shallot, ginger and garlic finely.

Step 4

Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric powder should be made as a paste adding little water.

Step 5

Heat 2 table spoon coconut oil in a cooking pan (recommends open mouthed earthenware pot), put mustard and fenugreek seeds. When it splutters, to this add finely chopped shallot, ginger & garlic and stir well.

Step 6

When it becomes golden brown, reduce the flame and put chilli and turmeric powder paste into it. Stir it well in a very low heat for few minutes (till the oil starts appearing).

Step 7

Add socked kukum star and water to the pan and allow to boil.

Step 8

When it boils put fish and add salt to taste.

Step 9

Reduce the flame and cook till done (it takes 10 to 15 minutes). When it is done add curry leaves and ½ table spoon coconut oil & remove from the flame after 1 minute.

Step 10

Kerala fish curry is ready. Let the curry remains in the cooking pan for a few hours, allowing all the spices to steep into the fish.


1) Don’t stir once fish is cooked

2) Remember to spoon the Kukum star (Kudampuli) pieces out after few hours

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Nutritional Profile

Main nutritional contents are,

  • Proteins

  • Vitamins

  • Calcium

  • Iron

  • Potassium

  • Omega-3 fatty acids


1 Table spoon = 3 Tea spoons
1 Dessert spoon = 2 Tea spoons
1 Tea spoon = 5 ml
1 Cup = 236.588 ml


Myself, Shaan Geo basically a Software Engineer started my career in IT Industry. I have had a passion for food and cooking from an early age. This habit made me keep an eye out for the new variants of food and the different cuisines where ever I go. According to me cooking is an equal-opportunity talent and I find that anybody can cook. It is not limited by the age, profession, caste, colour or creed of a person. What is needed is the love for cooking. For me passion for cooking does not stop in the kitchen, when I travel, I continue to be inspired by eating in some of the best restaurants around the world.

Comments on Kerala Fish Curry

Comments (44)

  1. posted by Jobin Jose on July 28, 2012

    Dear Mr. Geo,
    I tried at my home. Simply tasty and delicious. One quick word; use bit more coconut oil…

    • posted by Shaan Geo on July 28, 2012

      Jobin, thank you very much for the feedback. Adding more coconut oil will definitely makes the dish more tasty. But consuming less oil, may benefit people struggling with high cholesterol :)

  2. posted by Sanitha on November 4, 2012

    I have been searching for this recipe for ages.. good to see the same.. Gonna make this yummy fish curry 2mrw or so.. thank you so much!

    • posted by Shaan Geo on November 4, 2012

      Hi Sanitha, Thank you very much for the nice words. Hope you will enjoy the dish :)

  3. posted by Kshama on December 14, 2012

    Found your website from Sandeep Mangalath,

    l will definatly try above recipe, However I have a query, is Fenugreek Seeds are available readily in market or is that something special to Kerala? Can we ignore it?


    • posted by Shaan Geo on December 14, 2012

      Hi Kshama, Glad you liked it :) Fenugreek Seeds/powder are available in all supper markets. It is optional for Kerala fish curry. You can ignore it if you don’t have.

  4. posted by Unni on December 15, 2012

    Hi Shaan,

    I did not try ur dish so far, yet I liked the way u presented it in ur website. Neat, clean, simple and easy to understand.

    The traditional dishes I had seen in my childhood had lot of mixing of various ingredients in traditional ‘arakallu’ to make what we used to call ‘arappu’. In the modern day recipes we hardly see any such process. (instead of arakallu it can be mixi in modern days). Almost all dishes (shown/seen in various media) have the same process of starting with heating oil, adding mustard seeds, shallot then adding the powders (like chilli , coriander, turmeric) then adding the main item (fish, egg, chicken etc). This is the common methodology for almost all the curry dishes. Hence the base taste remains the same. Why like this? But the dishes we get in restaurants are not so. Why like that? What is the extra things done there?

    • posted by Shaan Geo on December 15, 2012

      Hi Unni, Thank you very much for taking time to share your comments here :)
      I appreciate your rational thinking. Every place has their own common ingredients and base tastes. That is why we call them Chettinadu, Mugal, Continental, Arab, Thai and so on… In my point of view, regarding restaurant preparation and homely preparation, the major difference is nothing but one is private and other is commercial. In private, the term ‘Profit’ has no role whereas in business ‘profit’ has major role.

  5. posted by Sheena on January 1, 2013


    I came through this recipe while searching for kerala recipes without coconut. Definitely it sounds tasty without coconut. As you said, coconut adds to cholesterol.. want to see more of our traditional recipes without coconut.. thanks

    • posted by Shaan Geo on January 2, 2013

      Hi Sheena, I am really happy that you found what you were looking for. Most of our traditional dishes are coconut based. Anyway I will try to post some recipes without coconut. Thanks again for the feedback.

  6. posted by Vincy on March 12, 2013

    I am really happy to see like these recipes. I am sure that it tastes good. I had this curry so many times. Because this is what the way my mom cook (fish curry).

    • posted by Shaan Geo on March 13, 2013

      Hi Vincy, Thanks a lot for sharing your feedback. Happy to know that you like the recipes posted here especially the Kerala fish curry. Hope to see you here often.

  7. posted by Mary Rajan on March 21, 2013

    Generally which fish will be good in this meen curry?

    • posted by Shaan Geo on March 21, 2013

      Hi Mary, You can use any fish of your choice to prepare this curry.

  8. posted by Sreekala M S on March 24, 2013

    I want to try this with coconut milk. When can i add into this?

    • posted by Shaan Geo on March 24, 2013

      Hi Sreekala, You can add coconut milk just before adding curry leaves (step 9) and no need to add the coconut oil (step 9) when you are adding coconut milk. Remove from the flame before it starts boiling.

  9. posted by Prasanna on April 15, 2013

    One small tip. After washing the fish, rinse it with Kokkum water to eliminate all slimy stuff (ulumbu) from the fish and wash it in clean water before adding to the masala.

    Best regards,

    • posted by Shaan Geo on April 15, 2013

      Hi Prasanna, Thanks a lot for sharing the tip. I think we can also use lemon juice or vinegar water for the same purpose.

  10. posted by Meera on May 11, 2013

    Hey Shaan,
    Awesome curry. Very yummy n the way of narration was so simple that i could make the curry easily. Looking for more recipes…

    • posted by Shaan Geo on May 12, 2013

      Hi Meera, Thank you very much for your nice words of encouragement. I will be posting more recipes soon. Hope to see you here often.

  11. posted by Anna on August 1, 2013

    I can’t wait to make this recipe, I am making fish curry this weekend, hope will come up good like yours. Wish me luck.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on August 2, 2013

      Hi Anna, Thanks for the comments. Hope you will come back with a wonderful feedback this weekend. Good luck :)

  12. posted by Thomas Anand on August 21, 2013

    I have been searching for this recipe. I used to make fish curry almost same as mentioned. But now very clear about what exactly to do. Thank you dear!

    • posted by Shaan Geo on August 22, 2013

      Thomas, I am glad you found what you were searching for. Have fun in the kitchen :)

  13. posted by Tasneem on August 26, 2013

    What can you substitute kokum with?

    • posted by Shaan Geo on August 26, 2013

      Hi Tasneem, For the authentic taste of kerala fish curry, I strongly recommend you to use kokum. But you can replace it with tomato or tamarind.

  14. posted by Ambili on September 4, 2013

    I tried this recipe and it turned out really well…. I added raw mango pieces as well… It increased the sour taste of the curry and it really complimented it.. very good recipe.. keep posting more simple recipes… :)

    • posted by Shaan Geo on September 5, 2013

      Hi Ambili, Thanks for taking time to share your feedback. Great to know that fish curry worked out well for you by adding raw mango. Hope you will try other recipes too. Happy cooking :)

  15. posted by Santhosh, on September 8, 2013

    I tried, this is superb. Thanks a lot. I think if we make Garlic paste little more quantity then the Curry will be more thicker.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on September 10, 2013

      Hi Santhosh, Thanks for the nice words. If you like garlic, add it more, you will get little more thick gravy.

  16. posted by Suresh Kumar P on October 28, 2013

    I am going to try this curry which I had been searching for. The methodology presented is simple.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on October 30, 2013

      Suresh, Thanks for the comment. Hope you will share the feedback.

  17. posted by Nancy on November 4, 2013

    Excellent recipe Shaan. I was hunting for a recipe like this. A bit spicy, but i guess if you add half tsp of dhaniya powder it’ll be fine. My husband & kids enjoyed it. Thanks a lot.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on November 4, 2013

      Nancy, It is pleasure to know that you found what you are searching for. Thank you very much for the feedback and also for the tip.

  18. posted by Grace on November 14, 2013

    Thnks for recipes…. m going to try..

    • posted by Shaan Geo on November 14, 2013

      You are welcome Grace. Hope you will share the feedback :)

  19. posted by Shanto on January 19, 2014

    What kind of fish we can use in this curry? Please don’t say all kind of fish. I need some names. I am a beginner in cooking.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on January 19, 2014

      Shanto, Thanks for the comment. You can use the fishes like Seer, Tuna, Shark, Mackerel, Sardine, Salmon, Red Snapper etc.

  20. posted by Venugopal on March 8, 2014

    Hi Shaan, Really happy to go through your site. You are doing a good job by providing simple and easy method to cook delicious Kerala food. I will definitely try a few and update the feedback.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on March 9, 2014

      Venugopal, Thank you very much for your kind words of encouragement, appreciate it very much :)

  21. posted by Saleem Khatim on March 18, 2014

    Dear l am from karachi. I want a recipe of orotti with fish. l like kerala food.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on March 19, 2014

      Saleem, I am glad that you love Kerala dishes. I will try to include the orotti recipe soon. Hope you will try other Kerala dishes listed here.

  22. posted by Shyni on April 13, 2014

    Hai Shaan, Am from Bangalore. I tried this fish curry it was soo tasty.. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on April 16, 2014

      Hi Shyni, Great to know that the fish curry turned out well for you. Thanks for taking time to share your feedback.


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