Thengapaal Meen Curry | Malabar Fish Curry with Coconut Milk



Love for fish is engrained into a Malabari’s blood, at least majority of them. I am not an ardent fan of fish, but if you ask me to select between chicken and fish, I would go for fish. Fish is lean meat, so much more healthier to eat and far more delicious too! So when the theme for the Fantastical Food Fight was declared for this month as “Seafood”, I “fished” out from my drafts this delicious fish curry that is a regular in our home. Sarah says that June is the National Seafood Month in the US. I am not aware if we have anything like that back home. 🙂 For us, seafood is a must everyday. Umma needs a fish fry to go with her lunch, or else she feels totally incomplete. My sister has taken behind her with regards to her love for fish. She can have fish curry three times a day, something I can’t imagine doing. Hehe… I already have some fish recipes on the blog, if you wish to explore, and adding one more into that list now…


We usually make the fish curry with roasted coconut paste or fresh coconut paste but this recipe is so much more easier and time saving. I found this recipe at the back of a coconut milk powder pack and couldn’t resist making it. I used fresh coconut milk to prepare this and it tasted amazing. You can very well use canned coconut milk or made with the powder, as per your availability. There are hardly any ingredients that go into this curry and it comes together so easily. You can use any fish of choice to make this curry. I have used the very nontraditional salmon, which is so unknown to Kerala, but this curry tastes amazing with prawns or even sardines and mackerel. Usually, fish curry is served with boiled rice, but I love fish curry with chapathis too. Off to the recipe…






Thengapaal Meen Curry | Malabar Fish Curry with Coconut Milk

Course Fish
Cuisine Malabar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 -4
Author Rafeeda


  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 5-6 shallots or 1 small onion minced
  • 3 green chillies slit
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 to matoes chopped
  • 300 gm thick fish I have used salmon
  • Salt to taste.
  • Curry leaves for garnish


  • To prepare the coconut milk, add 1/2 cup water to the coconut and grind. Sieve and keep aside the thick coconut milk.
  • Add one more glass of water to the coconut residue and blend again. Sieve and keep aside the thin coconut milk.
  • Heat oil in a chatti (earthen pot). Splutter the mustard and fenugreek seeds.
  • Add the onions and chillies and saute till wilted.
  • Add the turmeric and red chilli powders and cook till raw smell is gone.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook till oil oozes out and the tomatoes are all mashed up.
  • Add the thin coconut milk plus more water if needed along with salt and bring to boil.
  • Add in the fish and cook till the fish is done.
  • Add the thick coconut milk, give a mix and switch off the flame. Do not boil, or else the milk will split.
  • Add curry leaves and keep closed till the time of serving. The more it sits, the more the flavors mingle.
  • Serve warm with rice or pathiris.


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Join the Conversation

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe and a bit of your culture with us. I always love learning about other cultures through the foods they eat.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Appreciate your kind comment, Wendy…

  2. I love fish curry…and this looks not only delicious, also so much easier to prepare.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Angie…

  3. This is really beautiful!! It sounds really delicious too. Thanks for sharing about your food culture too.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you for your comments, Karen…

  4. I love a good homemade curry and this looks fantastic!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Amy…

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