Fish Kulambu / Fish Curry / Kerala Fish Curry

How to make Kerala Fish Curry?

Kerala Fish Curry is a very simple fish curry recipe, yet very tasteful one. It includes very least ingredients and giving out a mouth-watery fish curry.

When I first started cooking fish, I cooked only fish fry. Why fish fry? Because it needs only ginger-garlic paste and a tablespoon of chilli powder and salt. We know all fried items will taste good to us, likewise this fish fry also will make us drool. So, the only way of eating fish at home was fish fry once upon a time in my life.

Days passed by and I got a chance to taste fish curry once, which tasted wonderful and I got the recipe at the same spot and tried at home. I got a decent fish curry and also the recipe needed some more extra time to finish up the curry. So, I tried different types of fish curry, making slight changes here and there, and finally I got this very simple recipe which gave me the taste which I wished for long time.

Kerala people are including fish in their daily menus and so their fish curry is also very simple to prepare on a daily basis. Some of them will prepare the curry using coconut milk and some wont. I like both of them, but without coconut milk will be much simpler and quicker, so I will mostly prepare this fish curry without coconut milk. They also will use kudampuli or kerala tamarind, which gives the curry a very special Kerala touch to the recipe. Here, I am using the regular tamarind as we are used to it.

We can use any type of fish for this recipe. Usually, we will prepare this curry with small fishes, but we can use heads and tails of medium-sized fishes too, using the center part for fish fry.

I used Catla fish here and that is my favorite fish which will taste wonderful (awesome) for both fish fry and fish curry. Though it contains so much of small bones, I love it so much because of its taste. We can use other fishes too that we usually buy for our Sundays.

Sharing here my favorite simple fish curry.

Kerala Fish Curry / Fish Curry / Fish Kulambu

A juicy curry prepared with tamarind extract.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4-5 pieces Fish of your choice
  • 1 no Big Onion
  • 2 no Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Sambhar powder
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbso Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • Lemon size Tamarind
  • Salt as per taste


  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds / Methi
  • 1 strip Curry leaves


  1. Clean fish and set aside.

    Wash tamarind and soak in water for 10 minutes.

  2. Extract tamarind juice and set aside.

    Chop onion and tomato.

  3. In a pan, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and splutter mustard, fenugreek/methi seeds, and curry leaves.

    Add onion and fry until translucent.

  4. Add chopped tomatoes and fry until mushy.

    Add turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute.

  5. Add sambhar powder and mix well.

    Add tamarind juice and a cup of water and cook on medium flame.

  6. Cook on medium flame till we get a paste consistency - oil will separate out.

    Add water to get the thickness that you want.

  7. Add in the fish pieces and cook on low flame for 5 to 7 minutes.

    Switch off the flame. Flavorful Kerala Fish Curry is ready to taste with white rice.

Here is your flavorful Kerala Fish Curry ready to taste with rice.


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