How to make the traditional Kerala fish curry (Meen curry)?

How to make the traditional Kerala fish curry

Kerala fish curry or Meen curry is one of the main recipes of Kerala. It is primarily used as a side dish for Tapioca and rice.

Spicy traditional Kerala fish curry is one of the main attractions of toddy shops across Kerala. The nutritional benefits of traditional fish curry is also a well-known advantage. Open mouthed earthenware pots were usually used for the preparation of fish curry. Kerala fish curry can be prepared in two ways. One method of preparation involves the addition of coconut milk and the other one without the addition of grated coconut milk. This recipe has been handed down from generations.

One of the main ingredient of this recipe is Kudam puli or Brindleberry/kukum star. Addition of Kudam puli or Kukum star along with red chilli powder provides the spicy sour taste. Kappa and fish curry is the one of the main recipes of Kerala. Let’s have a look at the ingredients required for making this recipe.

Ingredients required for making Kerala fish curry/ Meen curry
  • ½ kg of fish (according to your choice)
  • 2½ tablespoon of Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1 pinch of turmeric powder
  • 3 pieces of Kudam Puli / Cambodge
  • 1 Inch ginger piece
  • 6 or 7 cloves of garlic
  • 5 to 6 shallots
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 2½ tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Salt (according to your requirement)
Good quality chilli powder, Kodampuli (Cambodge), Dry Ginger (Chukku) and Turmeric powder (Manjal) is available for sale on
Method of preparation
  • Wash and clean the fish and keep it aside
  • Soak the brindle berry/ Kudam puli in 2 cup of medium hot water along with little salt
  • Chop the ginger, shallots and garlic to fine pieces
  • Mix the Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric powder in water to form a paste
  • Heat an open mouthed earthenware pot or a cooking pan with 2 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  • When the seeds start spluttering, add the finely chopped shallots, ginger and garlic.
  • Stir it well to form a golden brown colour.
  • Reduce the heat and add the paste of chilli powder and turmeric powder into it.
  • Stir it well in a very low heat for few minutes until the oil starts appearing.
  • Add the soaked Cambodge/Kudam Puli and water, allow it to boil.
  • Once it starts boiling add the fish and salt according to your taste.
  • Reduce the heat and cook it for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Once it is cooked add curry leaves and ½ tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Remove from the flame after 1 minute. Serve it with rice or tapioca dishes.