Saturday, 21 July 2012

Kerala Fish Fry (Meen Varuthathu)

This is my all time favorite, back home in Kerala, not one day goes without having fish curry or fry at home :). Maybe because I got sooo used to the wonderful taste of home made fish that I have never felt the urge to try any new fish recipe from outside. I usually do not order fish when I eat out. Prawns and Crab are an exception though ;).

Come join me, let me tell you how I fry my fish, the recipe will be same thru out kerala, am sure of that, maybe with little variation. But the basic recipe would be the same, and this is how my Mom does it so does my Sis...!!

The same masala can be used for frying Prawns also.


  • Fresh Fish - 1/2 Kg (any fish will do, I usually use Sear Fish, Pomfret, Anchovies, Mackerel, Sardines etc)
  • Red Chilly Powder - 2 heaped Tbsp (less or more as per your spice level)
  • Pepper powder - 2 tsp (less or more as per your spice level)
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying - Preferably coconut oil, but those of you who don't like the smell of it can use any oil. Rice bran oil doesn't have a flavor of it's own, so personally I would prefer that if my coconut oil is out of stock!
  • Ginger garlic paste (Optional)
  • Curry leaves for garnishing


  • Cut and clean the fish well. Make small cuts on the fish horizontally. This is so that the masala will go inside the fish well.
  • Make a smooth paste using all the powders listed above with a little water. It should be a thick paste and not watery.
  • Apply this paste on both sides of the fish well.
  • Allow to stand for 1/2 hr to 1 hours.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan (heavy bottom frying pan (cheena chatti) is preferable, but now a days mostly non stick frying pan is used since the fish will not stick to the bottom of the pan)
  • Place the fish in the pan one at a time. Cover and cook over low flame.

  • Uncover, turn and then cover and cook again. Fish gets cooked very fast unlike chicken or meat.
  • Uncover and increase the heat to medium high.
  • Cook till it is well browned and crispy on the top, cook the other side also likewise.
  • Remove from the pan and place in a kitchen towel to drain excess oil.
  • Garnish with fried curry leaves and serve with rice.

Note : I do not use ginger-garlic paste usually while frying fish and prawns. You could add the same for added flavor.

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