Boatmen’s fish curry

Powerful, Search Engine Friendly and more

This fish curry is usually prepared by the boat traders. Now most of the trade in Kerala is taking place through road. Before the introduction of bridges and roads over the rivers, most of the trading done by boat traders. All the cargo or the goods are carried from one place to another by the boats and the people who were engaged in this trade also lived in the boats only. They used to carry almost everything when they travelled and they have developed their own cooking style. I am here with the fish curry recipe of the boatmen of Kuttanadu. I learned this from my maid who is basically from Alappuzha and her father used to be one among them. Whenever she cooked, the gravy had a higher consistency than i cook. You can preserve it without refrigeration for 3-4 days without getting it spoiled. Try this, definitely you will love it.


  • Pomfret – 1/2 kg
  • Kokum – 6-7 pieces
  • Red chilly powder – 3 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Small onion – hand full (crushed)
  • Ginger – 1” piece, crushed and chopped
  • Garlic – 15 flakes, crushed
  • Green chilly – 4-5 no’s, crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves – 3-4 sprigs
  • Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Dried red chilly – 3-4 no’s, halved
  • Fenugreek seeds – 10-12 no’s

Method of Preparation:

  • Cut and wash fish, strain and keep aside
  • Make a paste of red chilly powder and turmeric powder with little water
  • Heat oil in a earthen ware, fry fenugreek seeds
  • Add mustard seeds when fenugreek seeds turn brown in color
  • Add halved red chilly and curry leaves when mustard seeds stop crackling
  • Add crushed ginger-garlic & small onion, saute until the oil separates
  • Add chilly paste and saute over simmer until the raw smell disappears
  • Add soaked kokum and 2 cups of water with salt to taste, let it boil
  • Arrange fish pieces and cook without covering for 5-8 mins in sunlight
  • When the fish is done, reduce the heat and let the gravy thickens to your required consistency
  • Sprinkle one tbsp of coconut oil over the curry and keep it aside for cooling.

Serve it with Kappa or rice of your choice. It is an ideal combination for roti also.

%d bloggers like this: