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Kottayam Dry Fish Curry From Kerala

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Fish constitutes a major part of Kerala recipes and every region has its own special fish curry. Kottayam fish curry owes its name to coastal region of Kottayam in Kerala. This fish curry recipe is special because it is dry. Unlike other Kerala recipes, Kottayam fish curry does not have lots of gravy; it is more like a fried masala with fish.

Kottayam fish curry is cooked with minimal water and without coconut which is usually a major ingredient in all Kerala recipes. This fish curry recipe however, requires a special ingredient called kudampuli or gambooge which is also known as Malabar tamarind. Kottayam fish curry here will be cooked with salmon fillets. You can substitute it with another sea fish if you like.

Kottayam Fish Curry

Serves: 6

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • Salmon fillets- 12
  • Curry leaves- 20
  • White onions- 2 (chopped)
  • Garlic pods- 6 (minced)
  • Ginger- 1 inch (minced)
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1tbsp
  • Pepper powder- 1tbsp
  • Dry Kudampuli or Malabar tamarind- 2 (soaked in water)
  • Coconut oil- 2tbsp
  • Salt as per taste:


1. Lay down 10 to 15 curry leaves in layer on a plate. Then rub salt on the salmon fillets and place them atop the curry leaves.

2. Cover the plate with another one and leave it for 20 minutes to marinate.

3. Soak Malabar tamarind in 1 and half cups of water for half an hour.

4. Heat oil in a pan and season it with curry leaves. Then fry the onions in it for a few minutes on low flame.

5. When the onions turn golden, add ginger and garlic to the pan. Cook on low flame for another 2 minutes.

6. Then add the spices, that is, red chilli powder and turmeric powder to the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

7. Add pepper and cook on low flame for a minute. Do not burn the pepper by overcooking it.

8. After this, drop the fish fillets into the pan and stir the masala. Pour the tamarind water into the pan.

9. Season with salt, cover and cook on medium flame for 5 minutes.

Kottayam fish curry is ready to eat. This spicy fish curry is enjoyed best with plain rice.

Read more about: fish recipes, kerala, seafood recipes
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