Meen Varuthathu | Fish fry – Kerala style


I would say it’s creating flamboyance with so minimum effort. Being a Malayali fish had always been a part of our routine, something so well-infused into our culture. Back home in  Kerala, the fish vendor on an old bicycle with a rickety basket used to be the much anticipated visitor at our gate every morning. Those days are long gone, those bicycles are now replaced by motorbikes, orders are taken over mobile phones, but the basic recipe of fish fry and curry has largely stayed rooted to the traditional ways. Using very few spices to coat the fish, and shallow/pan fried in coconut oil infused with curry leaves, its so flavorful and aromatic. Truly a treat to the taste buds!

You need –

  • Fish steaks – 4-5 medium sized pieces
  • For the marinade –
    • Ginger & garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
    • Red chili powder – 1 tablespoon or to taste
    • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
    • Freshly ground black pepper powder – 1 teaspoons
    • Juice of ½ a lime
    • Salt to taste
  • Coconut oil for shallow frying
  • A twig of curry leaves


How to –

Wash and clean the fish well. Drain off the excess water. Set aside.

In a bowl, make a thick paste of all the ingredients under “for the Marinade”,  adding little water. Coat the spice mixture over the fish steaks well. Set aside for 30-40 minutes.

Heat a frying pan with the oil, add the curry leaves and shallow fry the fish till done and crisp on the outside. Make sure to fry the fish over medium low heat.

Serve hot with rice and curry.



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