Kerala Style Pomfret Curry

Hello, hello, did you all miss me? 😀 I have been quite unwell for the past fortnight or so, and cooking/baking has been put on hold, whilst I spent my time sleeping, or trying to sleep. Today, after a long break, I was well enough to cook, and I wanted to eat something spicy, tangy and not the regular fish curry at all.
Pomfret Curry 4
A family friend sent over some pomfret fishes over, and I took this as a signal to make a curry that was taught to us by our old neighbour back in Mumbai. Joseph aunty, as I’d always called her was a fantastic cook. A Catholic from Kerala, she was someone who’d whip up the fanciest of dishes in no time, and of course, everything special was sent over to ours for me specially 😀 Our neighbours for 16 years, their family is someone I miss every single day…and one of my favourites was this dish that she used to send over; a big plate full of pomfret in this hair-raising spicy curry that we’d slurp over at lunch.
Pomfret Curry 2
I cannot talk about which region of Kerala this dish hails from, but it’s the way aunty cooked it, and so have I (except for substituting the Kudampuli with Tamarind)
Pomfret Curry 3

Pomfret Curry a la Joseph-aunty 🙂

  • Pomfret – 6 whole (cut into medium-sized pieces if they’re larger than your palm)
  • Onion – 2, sliced
  • Garlic flakes – 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – of 1 lemon
  • Kudampuli (Gambooge) or replace with Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 2 tsp
  • Kashmiri Red chili powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Curry leaves – a handful
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut or refined oil – 1/4 cup or about 4 to 5 tbsp

Grind together:

  • Ginger – 1 inch
  • Garlic cloves – 8 to 10
  • Tomato – 1 medium
  • Dry red chilies – 6 to 8, soaked in hot water, de-seeded
  • Fresh Coconut – 1 cup pack, grated
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp


  1. Wash the fish very well, and make slits, 3 on each side, if using whole.
  2. Rub lemon juice and salt, and keep aside to marinate for 30 mins.
  3. Soak the Kudampuli or Tamarind in hot water for 15 mins.
  4. When soft, take out the pulp carefully, strain and keep aside.
  5. Dry roast the coconut and fenugreek seeds. Cool.
  6. Grind to a paste the ingredients listed under grind together, until a smooth paste is formed. Keep aside.
  7. Heat a thick-bottomed pan or kadhai, and let the oil smoke.
  8. Add the mustard seeds and let them sputter.
  9. To this, add the sliced onions, and fry until translucent.
  10. Add the curry leaves.
  11. Now add the masala paste, and season with spices.
  12. Fry the masala for 3 to 4 minutes until it oozes out oil, and then add the tamarind paste.
  13. Carefully, add the fish, and cover with masala.
  14. Cover the pan for 3 to 5 minutes, and let fish steep in masala.
  15. After 5 minutes, check and flip fish over.
  16. Add a cup of water, or enough to submerge the fish, and cook on a medium-high flame until fish is cooked through, and gravy is reduced. (Might take between 7 to 10 mins depending on size of fish)
  17. Serve with piping hot boiled rice.


Pomfret Curry 5


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tandrima says:

    Delicious dish. Hope you are completely well now. Take care.


    1. 😀 Thanks Freda, me too!

      Liked by 1 person

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