Meen Vattichathu/ Kottayam Fish Curry


Remember the ‘Red-hot Kerala Fish Curry’ Arundhati Roy had described in her Booker Prize winning novel “The God of Small Things”…?  ‘Meen Vattichathu’ is something Kerala Christians, especially those from Central Kerala love to have everyday with hot rice!  This mouth-watering fish curry is usually prepared in an earthen pot or ‘manchatti’ which makes it more flavorful.  It tastes better and better as it sits and can be refrigerated for up to a week.


King (Seer) Fish – 1/2 kg cut into cubes

Shallots – 10 sliced

Ginger – 1 tbsp chopped

Garlic – 1 tbsp chopped

Green chillies – 3 slit

Curry leaves – 4 sprigs

Kudampuli/ Gambooge – 4 to 5 pieces

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds/ Uluva – 1/8 tsp

Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Kashmiri chilly powder – 4 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Water – 2 cups

Salt – to taste

Coconut oil – 2 tbsp



Soak kudampuli in half a cup of water and keep aside.  Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.  Add shallots (I used one onion), ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves and saute till they turn light brown.  Add a little water to the spice powders to form a paste.  Now add this paste to the pan and saute till the raw smell goes.  Add the soaked kudampuli along with the water.  Add more water and salt to taste.  Mix well and keep it covered till it boils.  Open the lid and add the fish pieces.  Keep covered and cook on a medium flame till the oil starts to float on top of the curry.  Yummy ‘Meen Vattichathu’ is ready to be served.  Enjoy!

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