Fish Curry in Coconut Gravy- Fish Cooked with Drumsticks-Moringa- Kerala Fish Curry

thrissur style fish curry

Kingfish cooked in a delicious coconut gravy…

I’ve already posted many South Indian recipes for making fish curries. In South India, fish being one of the staple foods can be cooked in different ways, in fact, each district in Kerala has its own signature ways of making fish. Fish curries can be made with grated coconut or coconut milk or without adding it. In my hometown, there are 3 popular ways of making fish curry: fish cooked in roasted coconut gravy, fish cooked in ground coconut without roasting the coconut, and fish curry made by cooking in onion/tomato & spices (without the addition of coconut).

This is an easy to make yet delicious fish curry that can be served with rice, idiyappam, appam, chapati, orotti, etc,

For more fish curry recipes, click here.

fish in-coconut gravy

Preparation Pictures

My cooking range is a ceramic flat top, luckily the clay pan is surviving well on it. It’s recommended to place clay pan over the gas range.

fish curry

fish in coconut gravy

Fish in Coconut Gravy - Kerala Style Fish Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 People
To grind
  • Shallots or Pearl Onions- 4
  • Green chilies, chopped-2
  • Ginger, chopped- 1 inch slice
  • Garlic, chopped- 2 large cloves
For cooking
  • King fish, cubed- 8 pieces
  • Drumsticks, cut into 3 inch long- 10 (optional)
  • Coconut Oil- 1½ tbsp
  • Chili Powder- 1½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ⅛ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Ground fenugreek- ⅛ tsp
  • Coconut milk- ¾ cup
  • Water- ¼ cup
  • Tamarind juice- ¼ cup, 2 inch fresh tamarind soaked in ¼ cup warm water
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Salt- to taste
For Seasoning
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Shallots or pearl onions, chopped- 3
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
  1. Clean the kingfish well under running water, you could add salt and lemon juice while rinsing to remove any fish odor.
  2. In a blender grind the above mentioned ingredients "to grind" to a smooth paste, keep aside.
  3. Soak the fresh tamarind in warm water for 5 minutes, combine well in the water and strain the extract. Keep the extract aside and discard the skin.
  4. Place a claypot or saucepan over medium heat, add oil.
  5. Add the ground paste, saute for a few minutes in oil till the raw smell goes away.
  6. Add curry leaves, combine well.
  7. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and ground fenugreek, combine well and saute for a minute.
  8. Add coconut milk and water, season with salt. Let coconut milk come to a slight boil.
  9. Add tamarind juice, combine well.
  10. Add fish pieces and drumstick (if using).
  11. Gently combine well, cook covered over low heat for 15 minutes until the fish has cooked.
  12. Taste and add more salt or chili powder (if you like it to be spicy).
  13. Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes till the gravy thickens.
  14. Don't stir the curry frequently as this will cause the fish to break apart.
  15. Remove the pot from the heat and keep covered.
  16. Place a small frying pan over medium heat, add oil.
  17. When the oil turns hot, add mustard seeds let it splutter.
  18. Add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and small onions.
  19. Saute till onions turn golden brown.
  20. Add the seasoning into the prepared fish curry and keep it covered for sometime.
  21. Serve the curry along with rice, kappa (Tapioca) chapati, pathiri, orotti, puttu etc.
  22. The fish curry tastes more delicious the next day.
Adding drumstick is just optional.
Pomfret, Sardines, Anchovies, Mackerel an also be added.