Coconut Fish curry Indian Kerala

Trivandrum Style Fish Curry With Ground Coconut | Meen Curry Kerala Recipe

Trivandrum, also known as Thiruvananthapuram, is the capital city of the Indian state of Kerala. Kerala is renowned for its rich culinary traditions, especially its seafood dishes. Trivandrum-style fish curry, also known as Trivandrum meen curry, is a popular and flavorful dish from this region.

Trivandrum-style fish curry is typically prepared using a variety of local fish such as kingfish, seer fish, or pomfret. The curry is characterized by its tangy and spicy flavors, which are achieved by using a combination of ingredients and spices unique to Kerala cuisine.

In this Trivandrum-style fish curry, fish is cooked in a rich ground coconut gravy. Moringa or drumsticks is usually added to this curry, some also add eggplant or brinjal.

Trivandrum-style fish curry is known for its vibrant flavors and the perfect balance of tanginess and spiciness. The addition of ground coconut gives it a creamy and rich texture. It is a delightful dish that showcases the culinary excellence of Kerala and is enjoyed by seafood lovers around the world.

Trivandrum Style Fish Curry With Ground Coconut | Meen Curry Kerala Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 People
For grinding coconut
  • Grated coconut- 1½ cups
  • Pearl or small onions- 2 or 1 large shallot
  • Kashmiri chili powder- 1½ tsp (for more spice add regular chili powder)
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Water- 1 cup
For making curry
  • Water- ½ cup
  • Green chilies, halved- 2
  • Fish pieces- 6 (I've added Sea Bream fish)
  • Fresh tamarind extract- ½ cup
  • Curry leaves- 8 leaves
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
  • Moringa or drumsticks- 8, cut into 3-inch slice (or add ½ cup diced eggplant or brinjal)
For tempering
  • Coconut oil- 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Pearl or small onion, minced- 1 (must add)
  • Dried red chilies, halved- 2
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  1. I've added sea bream fish, any kind of fish like salmon, pomfret, king fish, sardine, mackerel can be used for making this curry. Shrimp or prawns can also be added.
  2. Clean the fish & rinse under running water. To remove fish odor, add some salt & lemon juice over the fish, combine well & rinse in water.
  3. If using whole fish, cut it into medium-sized slices.
  4. If using fresh tamarind, soak 3-inch slice of fresh tamarind in ½ cup warm water for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, squeeze the tamarind well in water to extract the juice. Strain the tamarind extract & discard the skin. Keep it aside.
  5. Cut Moringa or drumsticks into 3-inch slices.
  6. To a blender jar, add the above-mentioned ingredients 'for grinding coconut'. Grind to a smooth paste.
  7. Pour the ground coconut into a clay pan or saucepan.
  8. Rinse the blender jar with ½ cup water, add that.
  9. Add halved green chilies, tamarind extract, fish pieces, curry leaves, salt & moringa; combine well.
  10. If you don't have moringa or drumsticks, add ½ cup diced eggplant or brinjal.
  11. Place the clay pan over medium heat.
  12. If placing the clay pan over the ceramic glass top cooktop, place a trivet- I use the trivet that came with the Instant Pot. Keep the clay pan over the trivet, this way the bottom of the clay pan wouldn't crack.
  13. Close the pan with a lid & cook for a few minutes till the fish has turned soft.
  14. Don't overcook the fish, it can break apart.
  15. After the fish has turned soft, take the claypan off the heat & keep it covered.
  16. For making the tempering, this is a must add, tempering will enhance the taste of this fish curry.
  17. Place a small frying pan over medium heat, add coconut oil, let turn hot.
  18. Add mustard seeds, let them splutter.
  19. Add small or pearl onions minced, fry till golden in color.
  20. Add halved dried red chilies & curry leaves, fry for a few seconds.
  21. Immediately pour the tempering over the fish curry.
  22. Keep the curry covered for a few minutes, this way the aroma of the tempering will infuse into the curry.
  23. Enjoy this fish curry with white Sona Masoori rice or Kerala Matta rice.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...