Tuesday 16 July 2019

Meen Mulakittathu | Kerala Fish Curry with Kudampuli/Gambojee | Meen Vevichathu | Ayala Fish Curry with Kudampuli

I have had the privilege to taste many yummy fish curries in my life. Be it my mom, grandma, mom-in-law, hubby's aunt, uncle.. All of them make yummilicious fish curries. And for a Malayali, it is a staple as well as pride to make the perfect hot, fiery, tangy and delicious fish curry. Just a spoonful of this perfectly made fish curry is enough for you to eat with scoopfuls of matta rice. Accompany it with some fresh fish fry, boy I tell you, it makes your day and gets you set for an afternoon siesta ;)  This particular fish curry goes well with matta rice but some have it with puttu, idiyappam as well as idly :) But I prefer it with rice the most. There are many ways in which you can make Kerala style fish curry.. Easy Malabar style fish curry with coconut, Fish curry without coconut, yet another fish curry with coconut and so on. For all these recipes I use normal tamarind.

It was slightly difficult for me to get that perfect balanced taste (you call that 'chodi' in Malayalam :)) with this recipe. And hence this was one recipe that I took sometime to master. The base for all the recipes that I saw - both online on blogs and my relatives preparing was more or less the same. The right taste is always in the amount of red chilly powder and salt that you use. I have tried quite a handful of recipes from many blogs and I found the perfect measurements that suited my family's tastebuds here. This is a foolproof recipe and it never has failed me :) And let me tell you one more thing. It is always better to prepare this gravy at least 2 hours prior to serving. The more it stands the better. The flavours sink in to the fish and tastes awesome, to be precise, the next day :) So do make them and let me know how you liked them!

Recipe Source: Here

Serves: 3-4 persons

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 25 mins

I Used:

Fish (I used Ayala/Mackerel) - 500 gm (3 medium sized fish cut into 3 pieces each)
Gambojee/Kokum/Kudampuli - 4 pieces soaked in ¼ cup of water
Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
Shallots - 6-8 nos - sliced
Garlic - 4-6 nos - sliced or chopped
Ginger - A 2 inch piece - sliced or chopped
Green Chilly - 1 no - slit
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Red Chilly powder - 3 tbsp (Kashmiri or normal)
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Pepper powder - ½ tsp
Fenugreek powder (optional) - ¼ tsp
Salt - As Needed
Water - 1 cup

The Way:

1. Rinse the tamarind pieces in water to remove any dirt on them. Then soak them in ¼ cup of water

2. Take all the masala powders - red chilly powder (spice mentioned is a bit on the hotter side, adjust as needed), coriander powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and fenugreek powder in a small plate or bowl. Mix them with 2 tbsp of water and keep aside

3. Peel and slice the shallots, garlic and ginger and keep ready. Ginger and garlic can be sliced or chopped. Slit the green chillies and keep aside

4. In a earthen pan (or a kadai or pan but preferably an earthen pot as it enhances the flavour of the gravy) heat the coconut oil

5. Now add the shallots, ginger, garlic and green chillies and saute

6. Add 1 sprig of curry leaves too

7. Saute for 3-4 minutes till they turn translucent and slowly start to change colour. No need to make them brown

8. Now add the prepared masala paste and saute on low flame for 3-4 minutes till the raw smell of the masala goes. You can add the powders directly without making into a paste, but then much caution is needed while sauteeing them. They can easily get burnt and change the taste and colour of the gravy

9. The colour attained now will determine the colour of the gravy. So if you want them to be really deep in colour saute them for a tad bit longer on the minimum flame available. And take care not to get the masalas burnt. It simply translates to 'Do not leave the dish unattended at this point'

10. When the raw smell is gone, add the soaked tamarind along with the water. Further add 1 more cup of water (adjust the quantity of water according to the consistency that is needed. Ideally make sure that the fish pieces are immersed in the gravy, that's the quantity of water that you will need) and give a nice stir and allow it to boil

11. Once the gravy starts boiling, add the cleaned fish pieces to it. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. If the water added is less then you might want to check in between that the fish pieces or the gravy is not burnt or stuck at the bottom of the pan

12. Uncover the pan and check for salt and add if needed. If you feel the gravy is watery then cook uncovered till it thickens to the desired consistency

13. After adding the fish pieces do not use a spoon or spatula to stir the gravy. Gently hold the pan on both sides and swirl them

14. Finally add 1 sprig of curry leaves and a tsp of coconut oil and give a gentle swirl. Close the pan and allow it to rest for some time before serving. Best served after at least 2 hours. The more you allow it to rest it the more tastier it becomes :)

Serve with matta rice or mashed or boiled tapioca.



  1. I love fish curses but I never get such tempting color. Is it because of the kokum?

    1. No.. It's mostly oz of the red chilly powder and also the quantity of it that is used. It is slightly on the heavier side :)

  2. That is a gorgeous looking fish curry! I am sure this must be so scrumptious :)

  3. flavourful we prepare the same way looks delicious

  4. Such a beautiful curry this is! I have had this curry a couple of times at restaurants and really enjoyed them.... we always make it with tamarind, but must say the ones with kudampuli does taste different... Pinning this!

  5. Love the way you have cooked in an earthen pot...

  6. wow.. meen curry looks so good... fabulous clicks :)

  7. Love this fish curry, this looks perfect.

  8. i have tried this recipe before and it comes out to be the bestest one going to amke this again this weekend thanks for sharing such good recipe :)


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