Kerala Style Fish Curry Without Coconut | Forks N Knives

Kerala Style Fish Curry Without Coconut

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hello there!!! Am back after a super lazy and sick weekend. Weather in California has been fluctuating pretty badly. It was cloudy on some days and sunny the other times,as a result i fell sick. All i did over the weekend was "sleep" but some how managed to cook my favorite Kerala Style Fish Curry/ Naadan Meen Curry/Meen Vevichathu to go with steamed rice and Tapioca(Kappa). Notice the fiery red color?? Yes, that's exactly how a Fish Curry without Coconut will look like. And since am from the southern side of Kerala, this curry is exactly how they make in Allepey/Kottayam.

What's special about Fish curries prepared in Kerala is the use of Gambooge(Kodam Pulli) to add sourness to the curry. That, as per me is very flavorful and takes the taste to almost a whole another level. Fish curry in Goa is also same like how they make in Kerala. Goa, just like Kerala is blessed with abundant Coconut trees.

There was a time when i refused to eat dinner if there was no fish. I remember how every day after work, my mother would get them and cook them for dinner. Those were real good days. Over the time, post marriage i have developed a taste for all veggies(barring few!!). I can go now for 2-3 weeks without any sea-food and meat, and that is something am really glad about!!

If i stop cooking Non- Vegetarian, am afraid Rakesh will turn into a pure Vegetarian. It's been a little over 1.5 years that he has had meat now(Something, i would never want to do!!). You see, i do not like to disturb the ecological balance by not eating them..:D

I am drafting this post from 3 days now. I had a mental block(dare I say, writer's block!!). I just couldn't write. I took a break, stopped focusing on my blog and decided to do things which had no connection to the blogging world. Last few weeks, all i did after coming from work was head straight to kitchen, cook something and shoot. Most of the times i ended up feeling sad and frustrated as the  day light would be gone by then and all i get is some real sad looking pictures. Seeing all this drama, Hubby asked me to slow down and gave an earful!! "All this while, i thought you enjoyed this, if it's pressurizing you, leave it."

As if being sad wasn't enough, this was like rubbing more salt to my wound. I finally have decided to take it at my own pace and not be bogged down by non-existent pressure that i have created. So finally, here is my Meen Curry at my own pace..:P
Meen is Fish in Malayalam(A language spoken in the southern most state "Kerala" in India. )

These are the step by step pictures of the recipe. It's fairly simple and if you are some on who loves spicy curries, this is a must try. 

print recipe

Kerala Style Fish Curry Without Coconut
  • 1 pound Fish
  • 8-10 Shallots
  • 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 1-2 Gambooge(Kodam Pulli)
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp FenuGreek Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp Crushed Ginger Garlic
  • 1.5 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tbsp Red Chili Powder
  • 3 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • as needed Water
  • as needed Salt
  • 2-3 Green Chili
1. Clean Fish and cut into medium sized slices.2. Soak gambooge in warm water.3. Heat oil, crackle mustard seeds and add fenugreek seeds. Add shallots, crushed ginger-garlic, slit green chilies and 1 sprig of curry leaves. Add salt and cook them on a medium flame for 5 minutes. Once shallots become translucent, add all spice powders and roast them on a low flame till the raw smell goes. Be careful so as to not burn them. Add water and the soaked gambooge. Once they start boiling, add fish pieces. Cook on Medium flame for 20-30 minutes or till the fish gets cooked. Garnish with curry leaves.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings

1.I have used fresh Cod here, you can use Mackerel, Sardines or any that you prefer.

2.It is best to use Earthen Pots(Chatti) for cooking them for authentic flavor. If you don't have it, use regular sauce pan.

3.Gambooge is easily available in Indian Stores(Periyar Brand). Do not confuse them with Kokkam.

4.You can use tomatoes if Gambooge is not available.

5. Gambooge can be very sour depending upon the brand. Please test with just one piece if preparing first time and accordingly add 2 pieces the next time.

6. This curry tastes best after at-least an hour of cooking.

Till we meet again, 


  1. Wow, this looks delicious. I'm already hungry and just looking at this makes my mouth water. I adore curries!

  2. I love your presentation. That looks so delicious, mouth watering dear

  3. I eat a lot of fish, and I'm always looking for new ways to cook it! So delicious!

    1. Me too Dani. At home, we prefer them way more than meat. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Ohhh this dish looks beautiful and so delicious!!!

  5. Goodness this looks fabulous, such a hearty meal. Thanks so much for linking up with us for Fabulous Foodie Fridays, I hope you had a great weekend :)

    1. My pleasure Lauren. Hope to see you around for all fabulous foodie fridays..:)


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