Kerala Fish Puttu

  • Time
    30 mins
  • Servings
  • Nutrition
    300 Per Serving

This dish hails from the south Indian state of Kerala. Kerala is a coastal state and fish is a staple in their cuisine. A dish like fish pottu could be served for breakfast, lunch, or a quick dinner.


In this recipe the fish is first poached in turmeric water before it is tossed with spiced oil and aromatics. Curry leaves are a popular ingredient in south Indian dishes. Similar to kaffir lime leaves in Thai cuisine, they add a bold herbaceous and savory flavor. Enjoy this dish with fluffy basmati rice.



Kitchen Tools

  • Large Pan
  • Medium Pot
  • Small Pot
  • Oil
  • Salt



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Bring a saucepan filled with 3 cups water and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add half of the turmeric powder and the tilapia fillets. Simmer for 6 minutes until the fish is fully cooked.

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Remove the fish from the pot and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Shred the fish with a fork and keep aside. Make rice according to instructions.

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In another pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil and the mustard seeds, urad dal, and chana dal. Toast until mustard seeds begin to pop and turn gray, about 1 minute.

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Add the curry leaves, onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chili and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions are brown.

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Add the cumin, coriander, pepper and the rest of the turmeric. Stir in the shredded fish and add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook for 3-4 minutes to incorporate all the flavors.

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Finish the fish pottu with the chopped cilantro and serve with hot rice.

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