Fish Chili Curry or Meen Mulaku curry
To grind to paste:
  • Small Onions- 8
  • Kashmiri red chili powder- 2 tbsp or according to your spice level
  • Fennel powder- 1 tbsp
While cooking
  • Sardines or any fish- 10 sardines or 8 fish pieces
  • Coconut oil or vegetable oil- 2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
  • Small onions, chopped- 10
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Tamarind, fresh- 3 inch slice soaked in ¼ cup warm water or (use Coccum or Kodampuli- 4 pieces)
  • Salt- to taste
  1. If using sardines, remove the internal organs, sprinkle some salt to the fish and rinse well under water.
  2. If using fresh tamarind, soak it in ¼ cup warm water for 5 minutes, mash it into the water and strain the juice.
  3. If using coccum or kodampuli, soak 4 pieces in ¼ cup water.
  4. If using concentrated tamarind paste use very less may be 1 tsp.
  5. Grind small onions, Kashmiri red chili powder and fennel powder to a smooth paste, add little water while grinding. Keep aside.
  6. Place a saucepan or claypot over medium heat, add oil and let it turn hot.
  7. Add fenugreek seeds, saute for a couple of seconds, don't brown it.
  8. Add chopped small onions and curry leaves, saute till onions turn light golden.
  9. Add the ground paste to the pan, saute it well in oil for 3 minutes till the raw smell of red chili powder/onions goes away, make sure not to burn the paste.
  10. Add ½ cup to ¾ cup water, let it come to a slight boil.
  11. Add the fresh strained tamarind juice or coccum pieces, combine well.
  12. Add enough salt to taste.
  13. Now, add the fish to the gravy.
  14. Cook covered for sometime till the fish has cooked well and the gravy has thickened.
  15. Don't stir too much as the fish would break apart, you could swirl the pan to combine.
  16. If you want you could add ¼ to ½ tsp of ground pepper as well.
  17. Taste and add more salt if needed, swirl the pan to combine.
  18. Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered for sometime.
  19. This curry tastes really incredible with Kappa or tapioca.
  20. Not to mention, this fish curry tastes better the next day!
Make sure to use Kashmiri red chili powder, regular chili powder is very spicy.
Recipe by Cooking with Thas - Healthy Recipes, Instant pot, Videos by Thasneen at