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Dry Fish Recipe – A Tangy Curry

Dry fish curry

Dry fish curry

Dry fish curry

A Fish drying process was initiated by our ancestors for the provision of fish during the time when it becomes difficult to get fresh fish. It is also a method to avoid scarcity and the way the ants save their food before the winter season!

This Dry fish recipe is a staple diet of the people in South India. Even though the raw, dry fish may have some odor, which may not be liked by all, the end product you’ll get is a delicious and authentic dish. The Dry Fish Curry will make you crave to eat more and makes forget about your calories. The aroma of this curry makes one’s mouth salivating and definitely increases the appetite even if you’re not a fish lover. This dish is best when prepared in earthen vessels.

Dry fish curry

Dry fish curry

Vernacular name: Karuvattukuzhambu in Tamil.

Preparation Time:20 Mins.

Cooking Time:25-30 Mins.

Servings: 3-4 persons

Dry Fish Recipe


  1. Dry fish -15-18 pieces (any kind)
  2. Refined sunflower oil – 8-10 teaspoon full
  3. Small onion- 20-25 nos. shallots
  4. Curry leaves- 8-20 leaves
  5. Tomato – 01 (big size)
  6. Raw Mango – 02-03 pieces
  7. Green chili – 01 no.
  8. Chilly powder- 02 Tsp
  9. Coriander powder – 02 Tsp
  10. Turmeric powder-02 tsp (01 tsp for washing and another one for curry)
  11. Tamarind Pulp- Just a small ball size
  12. Cumin seeds – half tsp
  13. Mustard seeds-01 tsp
  14. Salt to taste


  • Cut the onions into dices.
  • Soak the dry fish in lukewarm water for five minutes and wash with turmeric powder to remove all the impurities and smell.
  • Take a marble size raw tamarind and soak it in water. Please note that lesser the water, thicker the pulp and more concentric extract.
  • Preparation of core mixture: In a bowl, add the above prepared Tamarind Pulp, Chilly powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric powder, and Tomato Puree and mash it all together with a sufficient quantity of water to form raw gravy concentrate.

Cooking Procedure:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  2. Then add onion, green chilly and curry leaves and fry till the onion turns into golden-brown color.
  3. Following this, add raw mango and let it fry for about 2-3 minutes till it gets half cooked.
  4. Then add the core mixture.
  5. Cook it till the raw smell goes off.
  6. Add water as required and add salt to taste.
  7. Then keep it for a good 5 minutes in a high flame with lid closed.
  8. After getting an aroma from the curry, then add the cleaned dry fish.
  9. Allow the fish to cook for about 10-15 mins.
  10. Turn off the heat when you see the oil oozing out on the top of the curry.
  11. Now you are ready to taste the Hot and Sour dry fish curry.
Excellent with rice

Excellent with rice

Best when served with hot, steamy rice. Lip-smacking……………….

Tip: Wash the dry fish with water and turmeric powder at least four to five times to remove the maximum smell.

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