Chettinad Fish Curry

Chettinad Fish Curry is a popular Indian Side Dish
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Side Dish
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Serves 4
Rated 3.5 based on 100 votes

Chettinad Fish Curry is a delicious kuzhambu recipe from the Chettinad region of South India. Made of a tamarind and coconut base, have with rice or appam.


5 to 6 pieces - fish

1 - tamarind, Lemon sized

1 generous pinch - Turmeric powder

1 tsp - Coriander leaves


To temper:

1.5 tbsp - oil

1 tsp - vadagam / vendhayam (methi seeds)

1/2 tsp - Mustard Seeds

10 - small Onion

5 pearls - Garlic

1 - Tomato

a few - Curry leaves

To grind:

1/4 cup - Coconut

1 tsp - Fennel seeds

1.5 tsp - chilli powder

1.5 tsp - coriander powder

To saute and grind:

1/2 tsp - oil

1 - tomato, chopped roughly

1 - big onion, chopped roughly


  1. Grind the coconut, fennel seed, chilli powder, and coriander powder in a mixer.
  2. Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a kadai - add onion, saute till slightly browned.
  3. Then add tomatoes, saute until raw smell disappears and becomes mushy.
  4. Add sauteed onions and tomatoes to the ingredients in the mixer, sprinkle a little water and grind it to a fine paste.
  5. Soak tamarind in warm water (say 1/4 cup), extract pulp and keep aside.
  6. Heat remaining oil in the kadai, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  7. Then add curry leaves, onion, garlic saute for 3 mins.
  8. Then add tomatoes saute until raw smell leaves.
  9. Then add the ground paste, turmeric powder and tamarind pulp.
  10. Add 1/4 cup water (adjust according to thickness), required salt and allow it to boil for 15 - 20 mins.
  11. When oil separates, add the cleaned fish pieces.
  12. Allow it to boil and the fish to cook well.
  13. The fish will cook fast so be careful not to break the pieces.
  14. Once the fish turns soft and the curry is well boiled and thick, oil will start separating.
  15. At this stage garnish with coriander leaves.
  16. Serve hot with rice.
  17. Recipe and Image courtesy: Sharmis Passions

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Chitra Ramachandran

Chitra Ramachandran

A talented cook and a prolific writer, Chitra Ramachandran's recipes come with reminiscences of people, places, history, tradition and culture.

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