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Kerala Fish Curry (meen pattichathu)


Kudam puli scientifically known as Garcinia cambogia is actually good for the heart, cholesterol, and fights obesity. We knanayaites use this puli in all our fish (meen) curries. The only other people I know other than us who use Kudam puli is the = Coorgies, but they do not use the whole puli in their curries. They use Kacham puli ie they mix 5 or 10 kg puli with water and heat it and take the pulp by simmering it. So 1 tsp of kacham puli is enough to give puli to 1 kg pork curry or meen curry. They use it to make Coorgie pork fry, chicken curry, and in some vegetable curry. They also put in ½ tsp of kacham puli along with the chilly powder and salt to marinate fish for frying (this I always do when I fry fish and the taste is awesome). If anyone visits coorg please make sure that you get at least one bottle of kacham puli….it is really worth.

Update: March 2014
Updated with step by step pictures.



Fish: ½ kg.
Kudam puli: 3 or 4.
Kashmiri red chilly powder:5 or 6 tsp.
Turmeric: A pinch.
Pepper powder: ½ tsp.
Mustard seeds: ½ tsp.
Fenugreek or uluva seeds: ¼ tsp. (Refer note)
Button onions chopped: 7 or 8. (Refer note)
Garlic chopped: 4 or 5 cloves.
Ginger chopped: 1 inch.
Green chillies: 2.
Curry leaves.
Salt to taste.


In a chatti pour little oil and crack the mustard seeds and the fenugreek seeds. Add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and sauté till light brown. Put in the chilly powder, turmeric and fry for a little time. Pour little water and put in cleaned puli, salt, and curry leaves. Put in the fish and when it boils leave to simmer for 10 -20 minutes and add the pepper powder. When the fish is done add more curry leaves.

Note: Adding ½ tsp fenugreek roasted and powdered gives a nice flavor.
If you do not get button onions or is lazy to clean button onions, can use ordinary onion.


  1. Hi Nish,

    I miss those wonderful Kerala fish curries. Would love to see more on your blog. I don't remember trying Kudam Puli, does it taste like tamarind?



    1. Reese-thanks a bunch for visiting my space. No kudam puli does not taste at all like tarmarind...infact we use only kudam puli for our meen curry but towards north of kerala tamarind is used mostly.

  2. I am a person who loves to cook and definitely loves to taste foods and i admit that after my mom made your dish, both of us have to adore your culinary expertise. Thanks a lot for the Naadan kerala dish and we wish you all the very best for your future ventures too..

  3. Hi Nisa,
    Isn't Kudam puli is Kokam that we Kokani people used?
    We used the Kokam also in fish curries.

    Thanks. great blog.

    1. Kokum and Kudampuli are two entirely different things. Kokum is 'Garcinia Indica' and Kudampuli is 'Gambooge' or 'Garcinia Gummy-gutta.

  4. How much water can be added for this curry.Please explain

    Thanks George

  5. Hey Anon- You can add about 1/2 cup of water and simmer more to get thick gravy ... add more water if you do not like thick gravy. Hope this helps...keep visiting.


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