Monday, 26 September 2011

Kerala Style Tomato Fish Curry

Kerala is a southern state in India bound by the Arabian Sea on it's west. This coastline is a beautiful state filled with lush greenery on all sides mainly comprising of tall coconut trees and the clear blue waters that add to our culture and unique cuisine. The variety of fish we enjoy from the sea our diverse and obviously holds an important part in Kerala cuisine. And thus that is why we see that a large population in Kerala are non-vegetarian, unlike most other states in India.

Personally, I like vegetarian food. I’m not too much of a meat eater unlike my hubby dearest who loves any kind of meat, be it chicken, beef or anything. But to me, fish is very 'vegetarian' because back home, fish was a part of our daily menu almost everyday. When I left for college and had to stay in a hostel (which was so much fun) I always missed my mum’s fish curry and fry. But I must say the food in that hostel was much better compared to other hostels. The fish fry, beef cutlets, chicken curry, gobi manchurian, everything was fantastic.

Today I want to share one of my favourite fish recipes, fish curry prepared with tomato and coconut milk. Fish like I said holds pride and a very important part in our cuisine and I promise you this dish makes the fish so tasty and juicy on the inside, it will leave you wanting more. Hope the taste will transport you to the breezy, coconut swaying coastlines of Kerala.


Fish - 1/2 kg (7 to 8 pieces approx)
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Big Onions - 2
Tomato - 2 (big)
Ginger & Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tbsp; heaped (alter as per spice tolerance)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Thin Coconut milk - 1 1/4 cup
Thick Coconut milk - 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Fenugreek powder (uluva podichathu) - 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Salt - to taste


Heat oil in a meen chatti (earthenware) or any wok and splutter mustard seeds. Add onions and saut'e till light brown. Once the onions have browned, add ginger & garlic paste and saute for a few minutes till raw smell goes away. Then throw in the red chilli powder and turmeric powder and saut'e till raw smell goes away. Sprinkle a little water to moisten the masala. Now add the tomatoes and salt and saut'e till oil floats. Add the thin coconut milk along with the fenugreek powder and let it boil. Once it starts boiling, add the fish pieces. Let it cook on a high flame for a few minutes and then switch over to  a low flame and let the fish cook till done and gravy reduces. Once the fish has been cooked well, add the thick coconut milk and stir for a few minutes. Do not let it boil too much. Garnish with fresh coconut oil and curry leaves. Serve with rice, chapathi or appam.

Source: Mama

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