Karaikudi Fish masala/Chettinad Fish Masala

This fish recipe is  from the popular south Indian Chettinad Cuisine. It is said that the recipe hails from Karaikudi , a part of the area commonly referred to as "Chettinad".Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India. It is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, and topped with a boiled egg that is usually considered essential part of a meal. This fish recipe is cooked with a variety of spices that gives it such a rich taste.

Ingredients A

230gms white fish ,boneless ,I used cod fish
¾ tbsp chilli powder
3/4 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp  tamarind juice
1 tbsp freshly grated coconut

Ingredients B
To grind into a paste
1  tbsp grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp black pepper
sliced of ginger
1 garlic

Ingredients C
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
2 dried red chillies, break into a few parts, deseed
2  sprig curry leaves
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 green chilli, sliced thinly
1 medium tomato,pureed

Ingredients D
¾ tbsp chilli powder
¾ tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp tamarind juice
Salt to taste

Ingredients E
¼ tsp freshly grounded pepper powder
1 sprig curry leaves
Some chopped coriander leaves


There are 3 steps to go with this dish ..so lets start!

First step,
Marinate fish with Ingredients A except coconut . Leave for half and hour .

In a non stick pan, heat a tbsp of oil , place pieces of fish and fry them until slightly. Once turn, sprinkle with some grated coconut. Turn and fry further. Slowly dish out on a plate as white fish thend to break apart easily .

Second step: Grind all ingredients with abit of water until smooth.Keep aside.
Third step: Heat a Indian claypot with some oil , add in  dried chillies, curry leaves ,followed by mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds . Once mustard start spluttering , add in chopped onions and sauté until it turns golden brown, then add green chilli and pureed tomato . Stir further and then add in the grinded ingredients. Cook for a while ,then add in the dry powders and tamarind juice (ingredients D) . Slowly add in the fried fish and give it a stir. Finalise with adding curry leaves, pepper powder and chopped coriander. Serve as a side dish with rice .

Slightly tedious to prepare but worth it !!


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