Karimeen Thilappichathu

Karimeen Thilappichathu is another special treat for all Karimeen (Pearl Spot) lovers. Karimeen or Pearl Spot is considered as the most propitious fish in Kerala. There are a variety of dishes made with this particular fish and whether fried or curried, Karimeen has been enticing taste buds in Kerala for long! In Kerala, especially Alleppey region, Karimeen Mappas is a popular dish among tourists. Karimeen is also used to prepare Fish Molee, another popular dish in Kerala. In Kerala, there is no dearth of seafood recipes. Whether it is Karimeen / Pearl Spot, King Fish, Sardines, Prawns or Mackerel there are many special recipes that are very popular. Karimeen Thilappichathu is a quite simple dish with minimum ingredients, and can be prepared easily.

From as long as I can remember, my Kochammu (my aunt) has been an expert with Karimeen. It is amazing to see her clean the Karimeen so effortlessly. This time, when I visited her, she made this “Karimeen Thilappichathu”, one of my favorites, which is finger licking good!! Though it took only very little time to make, I was lucky to get a few photos. She laughed when I told her I am going to put her “Karimeen Thilappichathu” in my blog and said it was too simple; and I replied, that makes it even more appealing!! Yes, it is really very easy, has very simple ingredients and is very healthy and delicious. The fish is cooked for very little time in a spicy tangy gravy of shallots, ginger and garlic. It goes well with rice. This is a special treat with mild but wonderful flavors. Have a great, fantastic year ahead!!

Time: 15 mts

Serves: 3

Cuisine : Kerala


Karimeen ( Pearl Spot): 3 nos.
Shallots/ Small Onion: 1 cup
Ginger: 1 small piece
Garlic: 10 – 12 cloves
Green Chilly: 1 no.
Curry Leaves: few
Chilly Powder: 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Vinegar: 2 ½ tbsp
Coconut Oil: 2 tsp


Karimeen Thilappichathu

Karimeen Thilappichathu Ingredients


Clean the Karimeen and keep aside. Crush coarsely the onions, garlic and ginger. Mix with Chili powder and turmeric and salt and marinate the fish pieces. Marinate for 10 – 15 minutes. Take a Manchatti (clay pot) or a Kadai and arrange the fish.

Karimeen Thilappichathu

Karimeen Thilappichathu Preparation

Add the green chili and curry leaves and pour 1 cup water or more to just cover the fish. Keep this on the stove and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for just four minutes.

Karimeen Thilappichathu

Karimeen Thilappichathu Preparation

Gently turn to other side and let it simmer for another four minutes. Add the vinegar and swirl the pot to mix well. Turn off the heat, wait for one minute and then add coconut oil. Swirl the pot again to mix well. The delicious ” Karimeen Thilappichathu” is ready.


  • Green chilly should be medium spicy.
  • You can try with white Pomfret as well.
  • No oil is required while cooking, add coconut oil only after turning off the heat.
  • Please adjust the vinegar and spices as per your spice/ tanginess.
  • You may also try adding tomatoes instead of Vinegar.
  • It tastes better if you cook it in Manchatti (Clay Pot).

Enjoy Karimeen Thilappichathu with rice. And do let me know if you like it. Have a great Year ahead. God Bless!!

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