Kerala fish curry / meen curry ( with coconut paste )

Main Dish
3 servings
16 min
25 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 3
350 g Black Pomfret ( Aavoli ) / Seer fish (Nemmeen / Ayakkura), cleaned and cut into thick pieces ( The slicing is different for frying and fish curry . Some prefer to skin out the fish - in which case the fish should be skinned). (Marinate fish pieces with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder for 1/2 hour )

15 small onions ( chuvannulli / sambar onion / shallots ) thinly sliced or 1 full onion, thinly sliced

1 - inch piece ginger, finely chopped

8 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 green chillies, slit lengthwise

1 spring curry leaves

5 kudampuli ( kokum ) ( soak kudampuli in 1/2 cup water with 1 teaspoon salt for 1 hour )

1 1/2 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )

1 cup water (1/2 cup water to cook with kudampuli and fish pieces, remaining water for coconut paste )

2 teaspoon cooking oil

For the coconut masala / paste:

1 cup coconut, grated

8 whole red chillies ( soak whole red chillies in 1/4 cup water for 1 hour. Reserve water to grind the coconut paste)

1/4 teaspoon methi seeds ( uluva / fenugreek )

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Make a smooth paste of above ingredients in a mixer. Keep aside.


  • Heat oil in a kadai / meen chutty ( earthen pot ). Fry sliced onions, chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves till golden color. Add kudampuli along with 1/2 cup water. Mix well.
  • Add fish pieces and salt to taste. Arrange the fish pieces very carefully. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 8 - 10 minutes
  • Stirring / disturbing the fish slices during cooking is not required as the cooked fish pieces may break.
  • Add coconut paste and adjust the thickness with 1/2 cup water. Mix very gently/slowly with a flat spoon. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 10 - 12 minutes or until done / you get a nice aroma.
  • Serve with rice. Other accompaniments - Prawns pepper fry and fish fry / boiled tapioca.

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