Malabar Fish Curry


Mackerel – 1 kg  cut into pieces

Onion – 1 big chopped

Ginger – 1 tbsp chopped

Garlic – 1 tbsp chopped

Green chillies – 6 slit

Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Tomatoes – 2 chopped

Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Fish masala – 2 tsp (optional)

Chilly powder -3 tsp

Turmeric powder -2 tsp

Tamarind – 1 small lemon size

Grated coconut – 1 cup

Water – 3 cups

Salt – to taste

For Tempering

Small onions – 5 sliced

Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds/ Uluva – 1/4 tsp

Coconut oil – 1 1/2 tbsp



Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water for half an hour.  In a large pan or chatti, mix together onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies, curry leaves, tomatoes, spice powders, tamarind extract, salt and 2 cups of water.  Close with a lid and allow it to boil.  Add the fish pieces and cook covered on a medium heat for 15 minutes.  Grind the coconut to a fine paste adding enough water.  Add this paste to the fish and gently mix in with a small spoon.  Cook for another 10 minutes more.  Switch off the flame when the gravy is thick.  Heat oil in a small pan and splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.  Add the small onions and curry leaves and fry till golden brown.  Pour this over the fish curry.  Gently mix in with a spoon.  Serve lip-smacking ‘Malabar Fish Curry’ with rice, chapathi, appam or puttu.  Enjoy!

Use any fish of your choice.

Add more coriander powder if you are not using fish masala.

  1. How i wish i had this curry and rice for lunch today. I have never ever made fish curry and hubby and daughter daon’t like tham at all. So no fish curry here.

  2. Epic site I’m so glad I stumbled here through my friend’s blog, Going to need to add this one to the blogroll.

  3. Mouthwatering fish curry, am drooling here..

  4. Hey Thanks a lot dear for sharing this wonderful recipe..i had been looking for it since a long time…This looks trully authetic..U r a master in cooking fish…

  5. that curry looks superb ! i have tried out couple of your fish recipes and it turned out so good. I will try more of your recipes. Now a days nadan taste is so comforting for me 🙂

  6. Hi Lissie,
    Can I replace tamrind with kudampulli? If yes, how many pieces should I add..I don’t feel like using the tamrind that I have bought, so wanted to know the alternatives. I have tamrind paste but then don’t know how much of tamrind paste to add. Would 1tsp be enough?

    You mentioned that we can replace fish masala with corriander powder, how much extra should I put if I want to use corriander powder instead of fish masala? Would 2tsp be enough?


  7. Hi Priya,

    You can replace tamarind with kudampuli. Add 4 pieces of kudampuli for this recipe. Since you are adding tomatoes, you need only less amount of puli. Again it depends on the quality of puli used. If you feel that more puli is needed, add 1 or 2 pieces more when the curry is 3/4th done. I don’t recommend using dark color tamarind or tamarind paste since it can change the color of the curry.

    Use 2 tsp of extra coriander powder instead of fish masala. Hope you and your family will like this curry…! Please try my other fish recipes too…

    All the best,

  8. Hi,

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I tried this and it came out good.


  9. Hi Ann,
    Nice to hear that you tried the ‘Malabar Fish Curry’ recipe and that you liked it! Please do try some other recipes too.. Thanks!
    Happy Cooking,

  10. Super duper.. Thanks a lot aunty… 🙂