Kerala Fish Curry without coconut milk || Fish Curry with Kodampuli || Meenu Mulakittathu

Red Fish curryFish curry is as essential to a Malayalee as water is to fish 🙂  I have already posted the typical Kerala fish curry that is cooked most often in our home. That curry uses coconut milk and kodampuli (a variety of kokum that is indigenous to Kerala).  The version I am posting today is the version without coconut milk. This type of curry is unique to the North of Kerala and is usually made very hot and spicy.  This curry is used commonly for fish like King Mackerel(Nayee Meenu) or shark fish(Sraav).

kerala style fish curry without coconutMy dad and a lot of the folks of the older generation would devour this curry by making balls of the cooked rice and dipping them in the sauce! Of late I have been making this version for myself since I am on a low fat diet and need to avoid coconut milk.  And considering my current limitations in the kitchen, I have really simplified this recipe – so I apologize in advance if this is not an exact authentic recipe. This is my version of the traditional ‘Meenu Mulakittathu or ‘Fish cooked with red chillies’ Either way, folks, this curry is hot and spicy and pure ‘dynamite’ and is sure to stir things up for you:) Since this curry is really ‘red’ without the coconut milk to tame the color and the spice down, I named it the ‘Red Fish curry’ 🙂

I have also done a video for this – posted link below the recipe! Let me know how you like this curry in your comments below. Also don’t forget to rate it if you tried it! thank you!

Meenu mulakkitathu

Kerala Red Fish Curry || Meenu Mulakittathu|| Fish curry with Kodampuli
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Kerala Cuisine
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
A fiery hot and tangy fish curry that will blow you away with the tantalizing flavors! Fish cooked in a red chilli and kodampuli flavored sauce and tempered with coconut oil! Tastes wonderful with rice or yucca!
  • 8-10 pieces of fish - King Mackerel(Surma) or Shark (Sraav)or any other similar fish
For ground masala paste:
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi or 'uluva')
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ inch long piece of fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp of black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder (add more for extra hot)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder (optional)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 -3 pieces of kodapuli soaked in ½ cup water (or you can use tamarind extract 1 tbsp )
For the tempering or tadka:
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 pearl onions or ¼ of a small red onion, chopped fine
  • 4-5 fresh curry leaves
  1. In a cooking pot (preferably an earthen pot), add the cleaned pieces of fish.
  2. Grind the ingredients under 'Masala paste' in a food processor using ½ cup water to get thick paste. Add this to the pot with the fish. Add additional 1 cup water to the pot. Add the salt and the kodapuli pieces (or the tamarind pulp) and place pot on heat. when the curry begins to boil, turn heat to low and cover cooked on low flame for about 15-20 minutes swirling the pan occasionally to prevent fish from sticking to the pot.
  3. Now open lid and simmer on low for another 5 minutes or so until you get sauce/curry of desired consistency. Turn heat off.
  4. In a separate small heating or tadka pan, heat the coconut oil. Add the chopped onion and saute till golden brown. Add fresh curry leaves. Turn heat off. Pour this oil mixture over the fish in the pot. Serve fish curry with cooked white rice.
Kodampuli is a special kind of tamarind that is intrinsic to kerala and in the US, it can be found in indian grocers or online on

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  1. Amazing curry. A friend of mine gave me the Kerala special kodampuli and I tried it today. Very easy and tasty.

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