Feb 152014

Kerala Fish Curry Red-Hot and Spicy is a fiery dish made of fresh fish pieces simmered in a Kudampuli-flavoured red gravy. Kudampuli Meen Curry  with its distinctive flavour is simply relishing.

Red-Hot Spicy Kerala Fish Curry Recipe

Kerala Fish Curry

The spicy seafood curry is crazy good! The Malabar tamarind combined with Indian spices really gives the fish a tangy, intense flavour.

Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential for keeping the heart and brain healthy.

Kudampuli, also known as Malabar Tamarind or Fish Tamarind, is a key ingredient in most seafood preparations of Kerala. This natural ingredient (scientific name: Garcinia cambogia) is believed to assist in weight loss and help strengthen the immune system.

Kerala Fish Curry Kudampuli Recipe

Kudam Puli

Kerala Fish Curry Preparation:

Fish Masala Curry in coconut oil with kokum and and a generous sprinkling of curry is a delicacy. Tangy and spicy Meen Kulambu is sure to tickle your tastebuds. The masala paste is the secret ingredient to this mouth-watering fish curry recipe.

How to make Kerala Fish Curry with tamarind:

To make hot and sour Kerala Fish Curry, clean and cut fish. Grind the ingredients listed under ‘for paste’. 

Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Saute. Add chopped shallots, chopped ginger-garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add the ground paste and fry till it turns brownish. Sprinkle turmeric and chilly powder. Cook on a low flame for about 2 minutes.

Add a cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook till the mixture thickens and takes on a reddish colour.

Kerala Fish Curry with Kudampuli gravy recipe

Fish Gravy

Add 1 ½ cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add curry leaves, salt and drained kudampuli (pot tamarind) to this watery gravy and set aside.

Arrange a first layer of fish in a clay pot. Pour half the spiced curry mixture evenly over the fish.

Add another layer of fish and pour the rest of the kudampuli curry mixture over it.

Cook the fish curry on medium flame for about 20 minutes.

Season the Kudampuli Meen Curry with some more fresh curry leaves. Drizzles some coconut oil on top of the Kerala spicy fish curry and keep aside for 30 minutes.

 Kudampuli Meen Curry Recipe

Spicy Fish Curry

Serve Red-Hot Spicy Kerala Fish Curry with rice.

If you are looking for fish recipes Kerala style, do try out Hamour Fish Fry.

Meen Kulambu Recipe details:

Kerala Fish Curry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Red-Hot Spicy Kerala Fish Curry is a popular fish curry with kokum. Spicy Kerala Meen Kulambu is made with the regular tamarind and coconut paste in some parts of Kerala, giving it a deep yellowish-orange colour. A great-tasting Kerala fish curry with full of deliciously spicy flavours.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Kerala
Servings: 4
Calories: 110 kcal
Author: Shil
  • Fish King fish/Mackerel etc. - 8 -12 pieces
For Paste:
  • Ginger – ½ cup finely chopped
  • Garlic - ½ cup finely chopped
  • Shallots - 3-4 finely chopped
For the curry:
  • Refined oil - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
  • Shallots - 2-3 finely chopped
  • Curry leaves - 8-10
  • Garlic - ¼ cup finely chopped
  • Ginger - ¼ cup finely chopped
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 3-4 tsp
  • Kudam Puli pot tamarind – 3-4 stars (soak it in 2 cups of water)
  1. Clean and cut the fish. Smaller fish like Mackerel need not be cut.
  2. Grind all the ingredients under ‘for paste’ into coarse paste and keep aside.
  3. Heat a pan and add 1 tsp full of refined oil.
  4. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot enough.
  5. As the mustard seeds splutter, add the fenugreek seeds.
  6. 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.
  7. Tip in spice paste and sauté until golden brown. This mixture needs to be stirred constantly as it may stick to the pan.
  8. Add turmeric and chilly powder and cook this mixture for about 2 minutes under very low flame. A higher flame may cause the chilly to burn.
  9. 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.
  10. Add 1 ½ cups of water to this mixture and bring it to boil.
  11. Now add salt, curry leaves and drained kudam puli (pot tamarind) into this watery mixture and keep aside.
  12. Take a clay pot/ pan and arrange the first batch of fish on the pan in a layer.
  13. Transfer half of the curry mixture to the pan, spreading evenly over the layer of fish.
  14. Now add the next batch of fish, placing them over the already existing batch of fish.
  15. Pour in the rest of the curry and cook it on medium flame for about 15-20 minutes depending on the kind of fish.
  16. 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 attain its special sour and spicy taste.
  17. Kerala Meen Kulambu goes well with mashed tapioca (another Kerala favourite) or rice.

Recipe contributed by Anjali Rajan

Kerala Fish Curry – Spicy Meen Kulambu With Kudampuli | Meen Curry
5 from 1 total vote

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Shil is a freelance writer, professional blogger, foodie, health advocate and travel enthusiast.

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