Go Back
+ servings
Spicy kerala fish curry recipe

Kerala Fish Curry with Coconut Milk

Kerala Fish Curry also known as Nadan Meen Curry is a spicy, fiery fish curry recipe cooked in Kerala style with pantry staples, coconut oil, coconut milk and fresh fishes like Sardine or Mackerel. Fish Curry Kerala Style is easy to make and tastes awesome with rice.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala
Keyword: Fish Curry Kerala Style, Kerala Fish Crury, Kerala Fish Curry Recipe, Nadan Meen Curry
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Meghna


For Tempering


Prep the Fish

  • Clean the fish well, discard the guts and the gills. Wash the fish very well several times in a bowl filled with water. Pat the fish dry with the help of a kitchen towel and with the help of a knife dice the Mackerel into desired pieces. I got 4 pieces from each whole fish. Ste aside the fish pieces.

How to prepare the onion, ginger and garlic for the Nadan Meen Curry?

  • Add the diced ginger & garlic in a mortar and pestle and slowly pound it to semi grind the. Add the shallots and the green chilies and pound them all together to form a textured mix and not a fine paste. Looks something like this. Set it aside.

How to prepare Kerala Fish Curry?

  • Set an earthen cooking vessel or kadai or a pot over medium high heat and add coconut oil. 
  • When the oil becomes moderately hot throw in the fenugreek seeds, mustard and the curry leaves and allow them to sizzle just for a few seconds.
  • Now, add the pounded onion, ginger and garlic mixture and fry very well stirring continously until oil begins to leave the sides of the cooking vessel. At this time you may add salt. Also, you will begin to get a lovely aroma at this stage.
  • Add the dry spices and roast them well until you see streaks of oil appearing. You may sprinkle a few drops of water to help in the roasting process.
  • Pour about 1 cup water. Give everything a very good mix. Cover and bring the curry to one boil.
  • Open the lid and mix in the tamarind water first and than the coconut milk. Mix well.
  • Add the fish pieces. Coat them well with the curry sauce. Cover and cook over medium low heat until the fish pieces are just cooked through. Took be approximately 5 mins.
  • Switch off the heat. Allow the Kearala Fish Curry to rest for a while. I love to wait for atleast 2 hours for the flavors to mature. It certainly tastes the best the next day. Enjoy with hot white rice.



  1. Measuring units used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
  2. Today's recipe tastes best the next day. The flavors mature and become lip smacking good.
  3. Kerala Fish Curry or Nadan Meen Curry profile: Spicy, mildly sour with a subtle fragrance of coconut.
  4. Best Fishes to use: Sardine or Mackerel. Or else Trout, Baas, Mahi Mahi, Snapper.
  5. DO NOT use ginger garlic paste ever. It will completely change the flavors of the Nadan Meen Curry and not in a good way!
  6. Don't have mortar and pestle? Make that rugged texture mix of onion, ginger & garlic in your mixer grinder. Add the stuffs and just blitz them for a few seconds so that they don't turn into a smooth paste.
  7. Use coconut milk with fat that is whole coconut milk for richer better tasting Kerala fish curry.
  8. Kudampuli Substitute: Tamarind.
  9. Want to make it without coconut?  Omit coconut milk and add 1 cup more water to make the curry sauce.
  10. Adjust the spices, oil, tamarind according to your taste preferences. 
  11. Want to make it more spicy? Add ½ tbsp. red chili powder.
  12. How to use Kudampuli? Soak the Kudampuli in warm or hot water for 30 mins. Squeeze and discard the soaked kudampuli, use the kudampuli soaked water to make the fish curry.
  13. Shallots substitute: Use pearl onions or regular onions whatever is handy and available to you.
  14. STORING TIPS: The Fish Curry Kerala style will last for 4 days in the fridge in an air tight container. 
  15. SERVING IDEAS: We love it with hot white rice or Kerala Style Crepes known as Appam.
Calorific details are provided by a third party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.
Nutrition Facts
Kerala Fish Curry with Coconut Milk
Amount Per Serving
Calories 325 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 75mg25%
Sodium 194mg8%
Potassium 880mg25%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 35g70%
Vitamin A 1250IU25%
Vitamin C 62.7mg76%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 880mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1250IU | Vitamin C: 62.7mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3.1mg