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Kerala Style Irumban Puli Meen Curry....step by step.

Irumban puli-itta-meen-curry a.k.a fish cooked with Averrhoa bilimbi  in fresh coconut gravy, is a typical South Kerala dish. Fish is cooked with irumban puli for sourness instead of tomatoes or kudampuli and freshly scraped coconut is grinded into a paste and mixed into the curry, the fish is cooked in this coconut gravy with a bunch of curry leaves and lastly drizzled with coconut oil. A mildly spiced curry, an every day curry from down South, Thiruvanathapuram, the city I lived 23 years of my life.

I had a brief visit to my parents home sometime back; most backyards of kerala houses boasts of one bilimbi  tree at least and so does my parents backyard.

Amma makes this special meen curry and pickle with this puli, though I love to have this raw dipped in salt.....a favorite childhood snack during summer.

Recipe Source: Amma.
Fish: 250-300 gms.
Iruban puli: A handful, chopped or slit.(or you can use 3 tomatoes).
Green Chilies: 2 or 3.
Turmeric powder: A fat pinch.
Coconut oil: 1 tsp to drizzle.
Salt to taste.

To Grind:
Fresh coconut scraped: 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp.
Shallots (3 or 4) or onion: 1/4, chopped.
Garlic: 3 or 4 cloves.
Ginger: 1/2 inch piece.

Kashmiri red chilly powder: 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.

Place the cleaned and cut fish in a clay pan a.k.a "maan chatti".  This is my black earthen "chatti", you can use any pan; like aluminium, iron, or steel. But for us Keralites fish cooked in an earthen pan has an earthy flavor which makes the dish unique.

Add in the chopped irubam puli. A fat pinch of turmeric and about a tsp of salt.

Put all the ingredients under "to grind" in a grinder.

Grind to a smooth paste.

Put this grinded coconut mixture over the fish.

Add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water and mix it well. Then add the slit green chilies and curry need plenty of curry leaves . Give it a stir, and heat the pan, allow the curry to boil, cover the pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes and or until the fish is cooked.

Drizzle a tablespoon of coconut oil, swirl the pan, cover and switch off the fire.

Serve hot.

Perfect with rice, roti, or even puttu.
Enjoy this lightly spiced healthy fish curry.


  1. Nisa, i am transported back home. looks delicious.

  2. The curry looks so delicious, Nisa.

  3. all i need is a plate of rice... yummmy....

  4. Incredible and terrific fish curry,cant resist.

  5. Wonderful curry nothing's this better and tangy

  6. Super like...Drooling here..

  7. This looked so easy from your description, I tried it for lunch today. My husband, who is also from Trivandrum said it was Yummy and reminded him of his younger days. Thanks for posting the recipe. Your site has become my bible for cooking now. As a vegetarian, I don't need to worry about making non-veg dishes without tasting. With your recipes, it comes out fantastic!

  8. Hi Aruna, thanks for the amazing feedback!! I think this is a typical Trivandrum dish!! Thank you so much for the kind words and I am glad I am helping you in some way...its great to have wonderful readers like you...keep visiting and keep comments like yours are my inspirations :)


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