Squid Roast (Koonthal – Kerala Style)

Squid Roast or Koonthal/ Kanava Roast is a traditional Kerala delicacy that is very popular among sea food lovers. It is a delicious combination of squid, herbs, spices and Kudampuli (Malabar Tamarind) that is really heartwarming and popular. Squid is also known as Calamari and is extensively popular all over the world. There are many ways of preparing squid and each country and region have a different recipe for squid : fried, batter fried squid rings/ Calamari rings, cooked in gravy, stewed, squid roast etc. Keralites have a great inclination to all kinds of Roasts; like Beef Roast, Clams roast, Chicken Roast, Liver roast, Duck roast, Pork Roast, Beef Pepper Fry, Prawns Roast, Tharavu Puralan etc. which is usually prepared in dry or in a semi gravy avatar.

As I have told you before, my Ammamma (My aunt) was an expert cook, and my modified version of Kerala Squid Roast is devised from Ammamma’s Squid Roast recipe. Always when I cook squid or Prawns ularthiyathu, the same aroma fills my home and I feel like going back all those years to have that revered hands serve me all her delicacies from her small magical kitchen. I owe my passion for cooking to my mom and all my aunts who tirelessly cook all three meals in the most special way! They mix and match vegetables and meat or fish to make delightful lunch combinations. Rice with Squid Roast, Kumbalanga Moru Curry, Papaya Pulissery, Mambazha Pulissery and vegetable stir fry, Achinga Mezhukkupuratti or thoran is just heavenly!!

Squid has many health benefits as it has many nutrients which are essential for healthy skin, good hair, nails and muscles. Since it has high fat, sodium and cholesterol levels, it is sensible to eat it sparingly. But as Nutritionists say, it is important to focus less on the total fat structure but to eat wisely everything in a moderate way. Squid goes well with rice or Rotis or Parathas. So, here is this delicious and simple Kerala style Squid Roast recipe!! Enjoy!!

Time: 25 mts

Cuisine: Kerala


Squid: 1 kg
Small Onion/ Shallots: one handful
Garlic cloves: 10 nos.
Ginger: 1” piece
Green chili: 2 nos.
Kudampuli (Malabar Tamarind): 3 pieces or more
Curry leaves: few sprigs
Thengakothu (coconut slices): little (optional)
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Red Chili Powder: 2 tsp
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard: ½ tsp
Onion: 1 small
Curry leaves: little
Pepper Powder: ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder: ¼ sp


Clean the Squid, cut into rings, drain and keep aside. Slice the shallots, garlic and ginger. In a pan, or Meenchatti (earthen ware), mix the squid, small onions, Kudampuli, coconut pieces, garlic, ginger, sliced green chilies, curry leaves, coriander, chili and turmeric powders, coconut oil and salt and combine well. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Add half glass water and cook on medium fire for around 10 minutes, stirring in between. Once it is cooked, keep it aside.

Squid Roast Squid Roast

Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp coconut oil, pop mustards, then add chopped onion and curry leaves. Add the pepper powder and turmeric and sauté. Add the cooked squid and fry till dry. Your squid is ready to be savored. Enjoy!


  • Please adjust the spices according to your spice level.
  • Squid should be fresh. It should not be overcooked as it will turn rubberish.
  • Stir in between and cook on slow fire.
  • Coconut pieces are optional. Fresh tender coconut pieces add to the taste.
  • Preferably, coconut oil should be used for exact authentic traditional taste.

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