Puthiyapla Kora Fish Curry – A Kerala Coastal Gem

The vibrant tapestry of Indian cuisine boasts countless regional gems, and from the sun-kissed shores of Kerala comes puthiyapla kora fish curry, a dish that bursts with the essence of the sea. This fish curry rice masterpiece weaves together tender anchovies, a fiery coconut-chili masala, and fluffy rice, creating an explosion of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and transport you to the heart of Kerala.

A Culinary Dive into Heritage:

Puthiyapla kora fish curry, meaning “anchovy fish curry” in Malayalam, is a staple in Kerala households. Traditionally prepared with fresh, local anchovies, it’s a testament to the region’s ingenious way of transforming simple ingredients into culinary masterpieces.

A Symphony of Flavors:

The soul of puthiyapla kora meen curry lies in its masala: a vibrant concoction of chilies, ginger, garlic, coconut, and spices. The heat of the chilies is tempered by the creamy sweetness of coconut milk, while the ginger and garlic add a warm depth of flavor. Each bite is a delightful dance of spice, sweetness, and savory goodness, perfectly complementing the tender anchovies and fluffy rice.

Preparing the Perfect Puthiyapla Kora fish Curry

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Puthiyapla kora fish curry
Puthiyapla kora fish curry


  • For the fish:
    • 500 g anchovies, cleaned and washed
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
    • Salt to taste
  • For the masala:
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 inch ginger, grated
    • 2 green chilies, chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
    • 1/2 cup grated coconut
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
  • For the rice:
    • 2 cups basmati rice
    • 3 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Marinate the fish: In a bowl, combine the turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Rub the mixture onto the anchovies and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare the masala: Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chilies, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the spices: Stir in the turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and black pepper powder. Saute for a minute until the spices release their aroma.
  4. Incorporate the coconut: Add the grated coconut and cook for another minute until it blends with the masala.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk: Gradually add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Let the masala simmer for 5-7 minutes until slightly thickened.
  6. Add the fish: Gently add the marinated anchovies to the masala and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
  7. Cook the rice: While the fish is cooking, rinse the basmati rice until the water runs clear. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil. Add the rice, salt, and stir once. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Let the rice cook for 15-20 minutes, or until fluffy and cooked through.
  8. Assemble and serve: Fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Transfer the puthiyapla kora meen curry to a serving dish and top with the cooked rice. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and enjoy with appams or papads!

Tips and Variations

  • Spice it up: For a bolder flavor, add a few curry leaves or a pinch of garam masala to the masala.
  • Vegetarian twist: Substitute the anchovies with vegetables like okra, eggplant, or potatoes for a vegetarian version.
  • Coconut variations: If you don’t have fresh coconut, you can use store-bought

Also read most popular recipes in kerala:

Meen Kozhunkurai Rice Recipe – A Coastal Kerala Gem

Puttu Mushroom Recipe

Ube Panna Cotta Recipe

Which Fish Is Best For Indian Fish Curry

  • Meaty fish: Pomfret, kingfish, tuna, and seer fish offer a firm texture and rich flavor that stands up well to bold curries.
  • Delicate fish: Basa, tilapia, and catfish are milder in flavor and perfect for lighter curries with coconut milk.
  • Flaky fish: Salmon, mackerel, and sardines add a unique texture and melt-in-your-mouth quality to curries.

Thank You…!

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