Cherthala Fish Curry

Recipe by
Total Time:
2-4 hours
Serves: 4
Nutrition facts:

240 calories, 9 grams fat

Cuisine: Indian Recipe
Technique: Stewed Recipe
Difficulty: Medium

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  • 1 tbsp - oil
  • 5- shallots / chuvannulli, finely sliced
  • 6- cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 -green chilli, slit lengthwise
  • 1 - inch piece ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 -spring curry leaves or 6 nos (dark green)
  • 2 -kudam puli, medium size or 3 small size (soak in 50 ml - water for one hour. Add 1/4 tsp salt. Remove kudam puli and strain and reserve water for cooking. It may 2 tbsp water).
  • 225 g - fish pieces, medium size pieces (225 g net weight after cleaning)
  • 100 ml - 125 ml (1/2 cup / 4 oz (Indian standard measuring cup) water
  • 1/2 tsp - salt (or to taste)
  • 75 - 100 ml - thick coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp - uluva podi (methi powder / fenugreek powder)
  • Spice paste:
  • 2 level tsp - red chilli powder (1 1/2 tsp for less spicy curry)
  • 1/2 tsp - turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Dilute red chilli powder and turmeric powder in 2 tbsp water and keep aside.

How to Make Cherthala Fish Curry

  • Wash and clean fish pieces. Wash till you get a clear water and finally add rock salt (kalluppu) and wash again. Drain out water thoroughly and wipe each fish piece with a kitchen towel. In a wide bowl, marinate fish pieces with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 salt. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.
  • Heat oil in a meen chatty (preferably earthen pot) or pan. Add finely sliced small onion / shallots / chuvannulli. Fry on a medium heat till golden colour.
  • Add sliced garlic, ginger, slit green chilli and curry leaves and fry till crisp and golden colour.
  • Add diluted spice paste and stir on a low heat for 2 - 4 minutes or until the raw smell goes and water dries up.
  • Add kudampuli along with strained water (reserved 2 tbsp water, in which kudampuli soaked) salt to taste and 1/2 cup water (100 - 125 ml).
  • Stir all the ingredients well.
  • Cover with a lid and cook on a low to medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes or until it boils.
  • At this stage, add marinated fish pieces gently (level of the water should be equal to fish pieces. It should not be 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch above fish pieces. Fish curry won't be tasty if the gravy is too thin. Here final adjustment of the gravy is with thick coconut milk).
  • Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until done / fish pieces well-cooked / gravy slightly thickens cooking time depending upon the variety of fish). Switch off the heat .
  • Sprinkle uluva podi.
  • Now add 75 - 100 ml thick coconut milk and gently mix well. Serve with rice / boiled tapioca / appam.
  • Allow the curry to stand for at least 2 hours before serving so that the gravy and fish absorbs all the flavours.
  • Recipe Courtesy: Niya's World