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Meen Pattichathu

Spicy Kerala Fish cuisine

Recipe by sonalipradhan356 of Plainsboro, US

this weekend my hubby wanted to have his favorite fish curry, meen pattichathu, a very popular dish from kerala. i have seen my mom-in-law preparing this dish when ever we visited cochin. the specialty of this dish is its fiery look and the hot n sour taste. oily fishes like mackerel, king fish , sardines, pomfret are commonly used ; the oil of the fish enhances the flavor of this dish. to reduce the spice level and enhance the look of the dish, kashmiri red chili powder can be used, i have used both, ie red chili powder and kashmiri chili powder for this recipe.kudampuli, also known as malabar tamarind/fish tamarind is used in this recipe. can substitute with normal tamarind. it's best if cooked in a clay pot and served with steamed tapioca/ steamed rice .

Ingredients non vegetarian 4 servings

    • 1 lb.  Fish, cut into small cubes
    • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
    • 1/2 tbsp red chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1" ginger, chopped julienne
    • 3 kudampuli / a marble sized tamarind
    • 2 tbsp grated coconut
    • Salt, as required

    For Tempering :

    • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
      • a few fenugreek seeds
      • 2 to 3, sprig- Curry leaves
      • 4 shallots, chopped lengthwise
      • 1 tbsp oil


    1. Clean the fish and cut into small cubes. Mix red chili powder, kashmiri chili powder and turmeric powder with 2 tbsp of water
    2. Add the fish pieces , chili and turmeric mix, kudampuli, chopped ginger and salt with 2 cups of water in the clay pot, cover and bring to a  boil.
    3. Next add the grated coconut , and let cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the gravy thickens.
    4. For the tempering , heat a tbsp of oil , add the mustard and the fenugreek seeds, once the mustard seeds starts to sputter , add the curry leaves and the chopped shallots, fry till the shallots turn brown.
    5. Add the tempering to the fish curry before taking off the stove.
    6. Serve hot with steamed rice /Tapioca.