Spicy Fish Masala

“ Spicy Fish Masala ” is a Special Masala fish curry that is prevalent in the Palakkad region of Kerala. During my search for new recipes, I came across Palakkadan style Fish Masala. It took me to back to my Sharjah days, where we used to get this in a small hotel. Don’t remember the name of the hotel, but still remember that delicious fish curry. The thick coconut gravy, the tanginess, the spiciness everything was finger licking good!! I have made it a few times and tried slight modifications each time. This time, instead of adding raw fish pieces, I slightly fried the fish and added to the gravy. It made it even more delicious and I am sure you will also find it delightful!

This Spicy Fish Masala recipe is not simple, like my other recipes, but it is really worth all the effort. You may also try adding raw fish pieces, which makes it simpler. You may keep the fried fish version for special occasions and guests. Any white fleshy fish can be used to prepare this. Also try my spicy tangy fish curry, it is another delicious fish curry , with coconut milk and tamarind. Also check Alleppey style red fish curry, Kottayam style fish curry,  or if you prefer less spicy curry, check Goan style mild Fish curry in coconut milk

Spicy Fish Masala is spicy and delicious in thick coconut gravy.B Save & Exit ut unlike other fish curries with ground coconut or coconut milk, like Fish curry with Mangoes or Fsh in Cabbage, this has a spicier gravy and the tomatoes add to the tanginess. It is great with rice and rotis. So, without further ado, I will give you my Special “Spicy Fish Masala” recipe. Enjoy a great meal!!

Time: 25 mts
Serves: 4
Cuisine: Kerala

Ingredients for marinating fish:

Fish (King Fish): ½ kg
Ginger Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Chilly Powder: 2 tsp
Pepper Powder: ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Salt: as required


Spicy Fish Masala Ingredients

Spicy Fish Masala Ingredients


Onion: 2 nos.
Ginger: 1 small piece
Garlic: 6 cloves
Coriander Powder: 1 ½ tbsp
Chilly Powder: 2 tbsp
Garam Masala Powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Coconut scraped: ¾ cup
Tomato: 1 no.
Small Onions (Shallots): 6 -7 nos.
Green Chilly:  3 nos.
Red Chilly (Vathal Mulaku): 3 nos.
Curry Leaves: few
Tamarind (Valan Puli): little ( one small ball)

Spicy Fish Masala Ingredients

Ingredients for Grinding

Spicy Fish Masala Ingredients

Spicy Fish Masala Ingredients


Marinate the fish pieces with the masala. Shallow fry fish pieces in oil, till slightly brown on both sides. Drain and keep aside. (If you are planning to add without frying, skip this step).

Spicy Fish Masala Spicy Fish Masala

Slice the onion, ginger and garlic. Heat a pan and roast the Coriander, Chilly, Turmeric and Garam Masala Powder. Sauté for some time (40-60 seconds). Keep aside. Heat little oil in a pan, sauté the onion, garlic and ginger till transparent. Grind the roasted masala, onion and coconut to a fine smooth paste with little water.

Spicy Fish Masala Spicy Fish Masala Spicy Fish Masala

Slice the Small Onion (Shallots), slit green chillies. Heat oil in a kadai or Manchatti (earthen pot), pop 1 tsp Mustard, a pinch of Uluva (Fenugreek), add the curry leaves, then slit green chillies, then red chilly and lastly small onion (Shallots).

Spicy Fish Masala

When it is slightly brown, add the masala paste and fry for some time. 3- 5 minutes. Add the cubed tomatoes next and sauté till they are mashed.

Spicy Fish Masala Spicy Fish Masala

Add  the tamarind water and more water to make a thick gravy and let it boil. Add the fish pieces and let it simmer. Cover and cook for some time on low flame. If the fish is not fried, let it cook for some more time. Serve the aromatic, flavorful “Spicy Fish Masala” with rice.

Spicy Fish Masala Spicy Fish Masala


  • Please adjust the spices and tamarind as per your spice level/ tanginess.
  • Tomatoes should be chopped in cubes.
  • White fleshy fish is ideal, but you can also try with Mackerel or other fish as well.
  • This can be made with fried fish or fish cubes. If you are not frying, adjust the spices accordingly.
  • Care should be taken while roasting spice powders. It should not be burned. Keep the flame on low.

“Spicy Fish Masala” goes well with rice. If you like it, please share using the buttons on the side and let me know through comments. God Bless!!

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