Kerala Meen Curry – Kerala Red Fish Curry


The distinguishing character of this spicy hot red  fish curry, is the smoky sourness rendered to the fish and the gravy from the kudampulli-dried and smoked fruit rinds of the camboge tree. In Kerala, fish is traditionally cooked in an earthen pot that provides a distinct flavor to the curry.


This dish is best served with Kappa or white rice. In my family we even ate it with rotis (Indian bread) and I must say, though it sounds odd, it is a wonderful combination.


1 lb fish cut into small pieces
2 tsp red chili powder (base it on tolerable  spice levels)
1 tsp paprika (mainly for the red color) 
1/4 tsp fenugreek seed powder
3 –4 shallots finely sliced (if you don’t have these you can use one med sized onion) 
1.5 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 kudampulli (camboge fruit rinds)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 –3 tbsp coconut oil /any vegetable refined oil
salt to taste


  • Soak kudampulli in a cup of hot salt water and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add black mustard seeds, when they pop add in the curry leaves and powdered fenugreek.
  • Add sliced shallot and sauté till golden brown.
  • Add  ginger-garlic paste and sauté till oil separates.
  • Mix together chili powder, paprika and turmeric powder in a little warm water to make a smooth paste, add to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add soaked kudampulli along with the water and allow it to boil for a few minutes.
  • Add the fish pieces.
  • Close the lid and let it boil it again.
  • Once the water boils, reduce the flame and let it simmer for about 5– 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Add more water if desired.
  • Season again with 2 finely sliced shallots fried deep in 1 tsp of coconut oil, mustard and curry leaves if desired.
  • Serve with Rice or Kappa
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    3 Responses to “Kerala Meen Curry – Kerala Red Fish Curry”

    1. Shamsheeda says:

      Awesome click and nice presentation! 🙂

    2. sophie says:

      A peice of kodumpuli in the picture…would have made it more colourful.

      and add a few kodumpuli pictures

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