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Zesty Fish Curry With Vegetables- Thirutha Fish Curry

Zesty Fish Curry With Vegetables- Thirutha Fish Curry

Today's recipe is my regular Kerala style fish curry with a twist. There are days when I like to indulge in spicy fish curries and meen mulikittathu with mashed tapioca/ kappa vevichathu is a divine combo. This is one curry that I never get bored eating. I have been making this curry for ages, but once in awhile love to try variations of this classic Kerala fish curry. Guess what? I added some vegetables to my fish curry and was pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be a delicious and wholesome curry. The fish I used is Thirutha/mullet. It is a meaty tropical fish found in Kerala. It is soft and delicious when cooked and absorbs the flavors well.

The recipe was inspired by the Thai style fish and vegetable curry which is a mild coconut-based curry. The base of this curry is the spicy gravy similar to the Kerala mulaku curry. It is flexible when it comes to vegetables. You can use any kind of vegetables like beans, carrots, eggplant, etc. I have used drumstick, plantain, yard-long beans, tapioca, yam, and tomatoes. Drumstick is used in Trivandrum style fish curry and plantains are used in fish curry in Kochi. Vegetables add a lot of flavor to this curry and all you need to go with this curry is a bowl of steamed rice.

This fish curry has the same robust bold flavor that tickles your taste buds. Red chilly and Kudampuli/Malabar tamarind brings in the spicy, tangy, smokey flavor which is distinctive in Kerala fish curry. The chilly gives heat and richness to the curry and tamarind the tangy smokiness. Kudampuli is prepared by smoking and sun drying and hence the smoky flavor. The chilly powder used here is kashmiri chilly powder. It does not have a lot of heat but imparts a rich dark color to the curry. This curry tastes best the next day, so it is best to use it the next day and allow the flavors to mature. This is a perfect recipe if you are on a time crunch...protein and vegetables in one pot. So next time when you make fish curry, do try adding some vegetables. You will surely love it.

Ripe raw kudampili and the smoked sun dried

Why Kudampuli/Malabar tamarind? 
The tamarind used in this recipe is Kudampuli/ Gambooge/Malabar tamarind. You can find this in abundance in Central and North Kerala. It is one of the souring agent used in Kerala fish curry. This souring agent has medicinal value and is considered to aid digestion and boosts immunity. It has attained lots of attention recently as a weight loss agent. Kudampuli imparts a unique tangy smokiness to the fish curry. Kudampuli is prepared by smoking and sun drying and hence the smoky flavor. If you do not have kudampuli, you can use tamarind instead. You can also buy Kudampuli online from Amazon.

If you want to make a less spicy curry, use kashmiri chilly powder. It does not have a lot of heat but imparts a rich dark color to the curry. This curry does not use coconut. If you want a milder fish curry to add one cup of coconut milk.

Recipe For Fish Curry with Vegetables
Cooking time-35 minutes
Cuisine- Kerala, Indian
Recipe type- Curry,Seafood

Fish - 1 kg
Vegetables chopped
Raw plantain- 1 small
Yam,yard long beans,tapioca- 1 cup
Drumstick- 7-8 pieces
Shallots diced- 1 cup
Ginger-cut into thin strips-1/2 inch piece
Garlic cut into thin strips- 3 tsp
Kashmiri Chilly powder- 4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek powder- 1/2 tsp
Kudampuli- 3-4 thin strips
Green chilly - 1
salt to taste

For tempering
Coconut oil- 1 1/2 tbs
Curry leaves- a few
shallots - 2-3
Mustard- 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek- a few
hing- a pinch
whole red chilly-1
Tomato chopped- 2
Ginger thinly sliced- 1/2 inch thick
Garlic cloves-  3-4

To make the fish curry...
Cut and clean the fish and keep aside. Add salt and lemon juice and wash fish thoroughly. Wash and soak kudampuli in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
In a pan or manchatti add chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt and kudampuli/ tamarind with the water. Mix in chopped onions, ginger and curry leaves and mix well. Rub in the spices and the onion mixture and add three cups of water and bring this to a boil. 
Add the fish and the chopped vegetables. When it starts to boil turn the heat down to a bubbling simmer. Cook in low flame for 10-12 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking till the gravy thickens and oil separates. Don't forget to rotate the pan occasionally and do not stir using a spoon. Finally add some curry leaves, a pinch of fenugreek powder.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard followed by fenugreek seeds and them allow to splutter. Add chopped shallots, diced garlic, ginger and curry leaves. Roast it in a slow flame till the nice aroma comes out of the ginger and garlic. Add chopped tomatoes and fry for two minutes. Pour this over the curry.
Cover and let it sit for the flavors to infuse. Serve with rice.

You might also like...
Meen Mulaku Curry/Red Fish Curry
Meen Muringakka Curry/Fish Drumstick Curry
Fish Roe/Meen Mutta Omelet
Fish Pickle/Meen Achar
Mangalore Fish Curry

For more fish recipes check 100 Fish and Other Seafood Recipes

Happy Cooking!
Hope you will enjoy!


  1. I adore all sorts of curries. Your fish curry looks absolutely mouthwatering. That gravy looks really really great.

  2. Oh yum, curries are so so good☺

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the sweet comment :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the sweet comment :)


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