Kottayam Fish Curry

Kottayam is a region in State of Kerala, land of the Gods! And this dish is a very fine example of that wonderful cuisine that we hear so much of. The flavorful fish with coconut and tamarind gravy is perfect with some white rice and is sure to transport you to the place.

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Serves: 4-6


Tilapia or any Firm Fish – 1 lb, cut to bite size
Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/8th tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Ginger – 1.5 tbsp, minced
Green Chilies – to taste, minced
Curry Leaves – 1 sprigs
Onion – 1 small, sliced fine
Tomato – 1 med. sliced
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tbsp
Tamarind Pulp – 3 tbsp (approx)
Water – 1.5 cups
Coconut Milk – 1/2 cup or as needed
Curry Leaves – few for garnish
Ginger – julienne, for garnish
Coconut Oil – few drops for garnish


1. Cut and wash the Fish to bite-size pieces.
2. In a pan, on medium-high heat, heat Oil and add in the Fenugreek Seeds.
3. Add in the Mustard Seeds and allow them to splutter.
4. Add in Fennel Seeds and mix.
5. Add in the Ginger, Onions, Green Chillies and Curry Leaves.
6. Sprinkle a little Salt and allow it to cook till the Onions turn translucent.
7. Add in the Tomatoes and allow them to cook and soften, about 5 min.
8. Lower heat and add in the dry spices – Turmeric Powder, Kashimiri Chili Powder and Coriander Powder.
9. Add a little water to avoid the dry spices burning and cook for about 2-3 min.
10. Add in the Tamarind Pulp and cook for another 2-3 min.
11. Add in Water, increase the heat and allow the gravy to cook well for approx 5 min.
12. Add in the Fish pieces and mix gently.
13. Allow the for for about 3-4 min, reduce flame and add Coconut Milk.
14. Allow the gravy to come to another boil for another minute.
15. Garnish with Curry Leaves, julienne Ginger and a few drops of Coconut Oil.
16. Serve hot over some white rice.

1. Substitute the fish with prawns, shrimp or with vegetables of your choice!

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