Kottayam Fish Curry / Kerala Spicy Fish Curry

Kottayam Fish Curry is very popular in the Kottayam region in Kerala. There are different recipes for Fish curry in Kerala, depending on the region and after Alleppey style, I want you all to try out Kottayam Fish Curry recipe. Each region boasts of  unique style of preparing seafood and meat. Alleppey is famous for Kakka Irachi ularthiyathu, Chemmeen Roast, Beef FryKoonthal fry, Karimeen MappasAyala curry, chemmeen chammanthi, Tharavu Roast etc. In Palakkad, they prepare fish Masala in a different way with coconut gravy. Another Fish curry popular in Kerala and other South Indian states is Spicy Tangy Fish curry, also known as Meen Kulambu. Kottayam Fish curry, Chakka Kuzhachathu, Ellum Kappayum, Meatball curry, Tharavu Pepper roast, Chicken Roast, Fish Molee etc. are very popular dishes from the Kottayam region. In Malabar region, Thalassery style Mutton Biriyani, Thalassery Chicken Biriyani, Kallummakkai Nirachathu, Chemmeen Biriyani etc. are famous.

I got this Kottayam Fish curry recipe from my cousin, Priyachi, who is an expert in naadan(Traditional) cooking. She is a perfectionist and is very particular about the volume, quality, ingredients that goes into her dish. If you ask her for recipes she would give you exact no. of curry leaves to be put as well. 🙂 I have made changes to her fish curry, as the original recipe uses small onions only. Hope she approves. Dedicating this recipe to my darling Priyachi.

The specialty of the Kottayam Fish curry is its gravy. Small onions, garlic, ginger and spice powders are ground to a fine smooth paste and sauteed in oil. The flavorful gravy, the tamarind and the fish pieces are all very delicious and makes a great side dish with rice and Kappa. So, enjoy this wonderfully delicious Kottayam Fish Curry.


Fish: 500 gms
Big Onion: 1 no.
Small onion: 1/2 cup
Ginger: 2” piece
Garlic: 1 full pod
Chilly Pdr: 4 tbsp – 5 tbsp
Turmeric Pdr: 1 tsp
Tamarind (Kudampuli): 3- 5 pieces
Mustard: little
Uluva (Fenugreek): little
Curry leaves: 3 sprigs
Green Chilly: 1-2 slit
Coconut Oil: as required


Wash and clean fish. Soak Tamarind in salt water. Grind Onion, small onions, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric powder, little curry leaves and make a smooth paste. Heat Mean chatti (earthen ware), when hot, pour coconut oil, and pop mustards, Uluva, curry leaves, green chilly and add the onion paste in that order and sauté well. The raw smell will fade eventually. Saute’ for some time and add tamarind with water. When it boils, add the fish pieces and swirl the chatti (pan) to cover the fish pieces with gravy. Cover and cook on small fire. Once done, add ½ spoon coconut oil and turn off the heat. Swirl again. Serve hot with rice or Kappa (Tapioca).


  • You can try with Small Onions alone, as the authentic recipe calls for only Small onions. I loved the combination of Onion and small onions (shallots), hence I have altered the recipe. Try both versions and suit your taste.
  • Any fleshy fish is good for making this type of curry.
  • When you sauté gravy for some time, you will notice that it is moving more smoothly and no longer sticks to pan. That is the right time to add water.
  • I add curry leaves while grinding the onion spice paste. Curry leaves are good for your hair and I do that for most of my recipes.

Hope you liked this recipe. Please put your feedback or suggestions in the comment Box and share with your friends if you like the recipe. Thanks and God Bless!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Sharing is Caring!

Share this recipe with your friends!