Karimeen Varuthu Palu Curry

Fried Pearlspot in Coconut Milk


Karimeen or Pearlspot is a tasty fish we get in Kerala. ‘Karimeen Pollichathu’ has become world famous! ‘Karimeen Varuthu Palu Curry’ is a dish made often in Christian homes in Kerala. In this recipe, first the fish is fried lightly and then cooked in a coconut milk gravy. It is a very tasty curry and goes well with rice, bread, appam, idiyappam, puttu or dosa! If Pearlspot is not available, you can replace it with Pomfret, Seer fish or Tilapia.


Karimeen -1 kg
Chilli powder -1 tsp
Turmeric powder -1 tsp
Pepper powder -1/2 tsp
Vinegar -1 tbsp
Salt -1 tsp
Oil -for frying

For the Gravy:

Onion -1 big sliced
Ginger -2 tbsp chopped
Garlic -1 tbsp chopped
Green chillies -5 slit
Curry leaves -2 sprigs
Coriander powder -3 tsp
Turmeric powder -1 tsp
Pepper powder -1 tsp
Thin coconut milk -2 cups
Thick coconut milk -1 cup
Vinegar -2 tbsp
Salt -to taste
Coconut oil -2 tbsp


In a vessel, mix together chilli powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder, vinegar and salt. Smear this paste on the fish pieces and keep aside for half an hour. Fry them in oil till light brown in color. Keep aside. Heat oil in a large pan, fry onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves till the onion tuns light brown in color. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder and pepper power. Fry for few seconds and add thin coconut milk, vinegar and salt. Cover and cook till it boils. Now add the fried pieces of fish. Pour some gravy over the top of the fish pieces, cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on low flame. Open the lid and add the thick coconut milk. Mix gently or twist the pan. When it is about to boil, put off the flame. Serve hot.

Note : you can use the coconut milk or coconut milk powder available in stores. To make thin coconut milk, dilute it with water.

This is my entry for the event Think Spice….Think Ginger being hosted by dear Sunita of Sunita’s World.

  1. Did you hear that weeping. That is me because i want to have your karimeen curry but you are not giving me.
    It just look super super delicious.
    Now a whole heap of plain rice and i can start enjoying.
    I am drooling in your picture .

  2. This looks so good. I would have to substitute karimeen though.

  3. Looks delicious. Gravy sounds yummy, I could adapt with chicken too. Thanks Lissie!:)

  4. Lissie lovely dish!! I remember having this fish at one of my kerala friend, never tried but its looks delicious!!!

  5. OMG! that looks super delicious. Never had this before but the pic is tempting me. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. lissie…This is new to me…..Looks great 🙂

  7. looks gr8, but nvr heard of anything like that. will try to do it some ime.

  8. Gr8 meen dish.

  9. lissie your fish gravy looks delicious:) looks like the fish moilee that ma makes at home:)

  10. Of all the things that can be curried, I love fish curry the best. Your description and photograph has me drooling.

  11. Lissie I love Kerala recipes, your fish in coconut looks fantastic I imagine it is very delicious. 🙂

  12. OMG, are you out there to torture me with Karimeen, my FAVORITE fish in the world! It looks great Lissie!

  13. This dish looks awesome..the taste is too. I can vouch for this..We have it with white bread…and karimeen fried or curried..tastes good

  14. That’s a lovely recipe and something new for me to try…thanks Lissie for sending it over.

  15. Hey Lissie thankyou for visiting my blog. I just edited my post and put your link on it as I forgot to tag you and you just reminded me when you commented. 🙂 Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

  16. happy, come over and i will give you plain rice and karimeen curry… :))

    mocha, you can substitute it with any good fish 😀

    asha, very good idea! thanks a lot!!

    padmaja, you should have enjoyed it at your friend’s place!

  17. paati, fish moly is yet another Kerala delicay 🙂 this curry is different. thanks for visiting!

    kribha, sirisha, swaroopa and rina thank you for the kind words! try it out…

    thank you cynthia and jeena! if you like fish, this curry will definitely make you satisfied 😀

  18. oh my ! soooooo yummy.. i am drooling !!

  19. Looks so tasty! I wouldn’t mind having that tonight for dinner.

  20. Hmm Meen mappas!!That too karimeen!!Yaaoww..(mappas is another name with of this same recipe 🙂 )

  21. wow!!! kerala karimeen curry…i’m drooling…hmmm kothuppikkaleee…my fav fish…though i havent tasted this style…sounds delicious….thankuuu for sharing…

  22. MMmm, I love it!
    would try with other fishes, last time bought karimeen from Lulu, and I cut my finger..so stopped making with it..:D

  23. sig, come over and you can have as much as you want!

    rachel, it goes well with bread!

    sunita and remya, try this recipe. you will love it!

  24. thanks pravs, kelly, bharathy and seena for your good comments!

  25. I made this curry and was super-duper. Made with whole tilapia..don’t get karimeen here. Very tasty !

  26. oh my god looking so nive.my mouth watering

  27. realy delicious 🙂 i added mango cuts while frying onion etc..very good reciepy. thanks