Fried Fish, Kerala-Style Recipe

Beyond Curry

Inspired Indian home cooking.

Fried Fish, Kerala-Style Recipe

[Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

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  • Yield:Serves 2
  • Active time: 20 mins prep ten mins cooking time
  • Total time:30 mins


  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (or 1 clove grated garlic mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger)
  • 4 firm-fleshed fish steaks (such as kingfish), about 4 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lime wedge


  1. 1.

    Place peppercorns, curry leaves, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and coconut in a cast iron skillet and toast on low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Allow mixture to cool. Add turmeric and grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

  2. 2.

    Rub mixture evenly over fish and allow it to marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 3 hours.

  3. 3.

    Heat oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. reduce heat to medium-low. Slide in the fish gently and cook, turning once, until cooked through, deep brown, and flesh flakes easily with a fork. The fish should have a deep golden almost charred color. Remove, drain on paper towel-lined plate, and serve immediately with lime wedges.