Being a Keralite, sea food is regularly part of my lunch. My Grandma, her sister’s, my mom are very proficient in cooking this traditional puli milaguitu meen. This is a delectable, healthy, tangy, spicy fish curry. Oh I love the way my mother cooked it. She perhaps had the Midas touch which I am yet to still achieve, no matter how many times I have prepared this dish, I somehow still feel it isn’t as good as how my mom prepared it (sigh!). Sharing her recipe here.

This dish is quite simple , easy to prepare and requires fewer ingredients from our pantry

Now sea fish is really good for health and besides this dish is cooked in coconut oil which makes it even more nutritious. You can reduce the hotness of the curry depending on how much heat you can handle. This curry is one of our family favorite.

*You can substitute Kudam puli (cocum) with regular tamarind but the essence of the dish comes from Kudam puli. Its best to cook this dish in earthen vessel

**Coconut oil can be substituted with veg oil but for authentic Kerala taste, it’s preferable to use coconut oil. If you do not have shallots, then substitute with 1 small red onion

***I have used red chili powder, you can substitute it with 4-5 green chilies, finely chopped

Do watch the video for better clarity and share your experience in the comments section below once you prepare the dish

Preparation Time: 5 mins Cooking Time: 25 mins Total time: 30 mins

Servings: 4


  • 1/2 kg sea fish, cleaned
  • 3-4 kudam puli (cocum)
  • 1 cup Water+ 4 tbsp warm Water
  • 7-8 Shallots (pearl onion) chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 2 to 2.5 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1.5 tbsp crushed Garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp crushed Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 2-3 sprig Curry Leaves
  • Salt as per taste
  • 3.5 tbsp Coconut oil
  • Earthen vessels for cooking

Steps to prepare

  • Soak Kudam puli in 4 tbsp warm water for 20 minutes
  • Heat 2.5 tbsp coconut oil in earthen vessel
  • Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter
  • Add fenugreek seeds and saute until golden brown
  • Now add shallots, ginger, garlic and curry leaves.
  • Saute until onions are golden brown
  • Add in spice powders and mix well for few seconds.
  • Add only water of Kudam puli and mix well
  • Add 1 cup of water with salt. Now add 1 piece of kudam puli to the curry
  • Mix everything well and bring curry to boil
  • Add fish pieces and gently mix
  • Simmer, cover and cook over low heat for 20 mins
  • Drizzle 1 tbsp coconut oil and add few curry leaves. it’s best to cover and let it stand in counter for 15 minutes
  • Serve warm with hot steamed rice
Puli Milagu Meen/Kerala Spicy Tamarind Fish Curry
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

2 replies on “Puli Milagu Meen/Kerala Spicy Tamarind Fish Curry

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