Kerala-Style Fish Fry Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Kerala-style fish fry recipe, a simple marinated fish fry recipe that you can either pan fry or deep fry. Goes great with rice and any curry
Recipe type: Fish
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
  • 4 fish steak pieces (King fish or pomfret work well)
  • ½ tsp of red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp of black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic (3-4 flakes)
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger (a 1" piece)
  • 1 tsp of vinegar or lime juice
  • 2 tsp of shallots (small onions), crushed, optional
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric powder
  • A few curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying (I use coconut oil)
  1. Cut and clean the fish pieces. I buy the fish steaks cut into the right shape so it makes preparation really simple
  2. Let the cleaned fish drain in a colander placed inside the sink (or another vessel if you wish). We need the fish to be as dry as possible before slathering in the marinade
  3. To prepare the marinade, there are two options:
  4. You can add all the ingredients into a spice grinder and grind to a paste.
  5. If you are using readymade ginger garlic paste (I don't recommend this, freshly made paste is better for this recipe), then you can just mix everything in a bowl
  6. If the paste is too thick, add a teaspoon of water. The marinade should be a thick paste and not watery; with this proportion of ingredients, I usually don't need to add any water
  7. Using your fingers, generously slather the marinade all over the fish pieces
  8. Plate in a bowl or plate, cover and set aside for 30 minutes. You can leave it overnight in the refrigerator if you don't intend to cook it immediately
  9. When ready to fry the fish, heat oil in a pan until it almost begins to smoke. We always pan fry the fish with just enough to cover the fish halfway and that works great
  10. Once the oil is hot enough, gently place the fish pieces into the oil
  11. Keep flame at medium and cover the pan while frying to prevent the spluttering oil and marinade getting all over you and the stove
  12. The moisture from the fish and the heat from the oil will fry-steam the fish in this method
  13. Once the first side of the fish is a dark golden brown, gently flip over and keep covered until the other side is cooked
  14. Needless to say, you must not allow the fish to overlap while cooking.
  15. Serve fish fry hot with sliced onions and lime wedges
Recipe by Edible Garden at