10 Must Cook Seafood Delights from South India

Last week we had a great time exploring the seafood recipes from North India. Join us again this week as we discover seafood recipes from down South. If you are on a food journey to tantalize the taste buds, you shall definitely fall in love with the seafood from South India. Just give the oft cooked dishes a rest and get immersed into our 10 must cook southern delights on our seafood adventure. These recipes will surely make your experience worthwhile.

These recipes from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are all about the best of best coastal cuisines with a perfect blend of flavor, color and taste with a quite alluring visual appeal. Though the region boasts of a multitude of seafood dishes, fiery curries, stir-fry and roasts are a signature. Chillies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, tamarind and asafoetida are used in abundance.

So let’s get started…

1. Chepala Vepudu – Fish Fry, Andhra Pradesh

Well one of my favourite styles of cooking fish is fillets coated in delectable spices and pan fried to crisp golden brown perfection. A simple marinade that consists of lemon juice, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, ginger garlic paste and salt. It is a simple no fuss, flavor packed recipe to try at home. You can use King Fish (Surmai) for this recipe, but trust me it is absolutely delicious if use Cat Fish (Singhara) or Trevally Curry Cut the same way. Serve the Fish Fry as a starter or along with some rice and dal as a main course. It can’t get more comforting than that.
Recipe: Fish Fry
2. Bangude Puli Munchi –  Mackerel in Hot & Sour Gravy, Karnataka
This fiery and delicious Mackerel Fish Curry pairs up so well with rice and a vegetable on the side. In Mangalore’s local language Tulu, ‘Puli’ means ‘tamarind’ or ‘sour’ and ‘Munchi’ means ‘chilli’ so fundamentally it is a hot and sour fish curry made by the Bunt community in Managlore. This curry is quite similar to the ‘Ambot Tik’ dished out by the Goans. The hot and sour flavours of this curry complements fish such as Mackerel, Sardines and Shark. If you ever visit Mangalore or an authentic Mangalorean restaurant, not trying fish Puli Munchi is akin to committing sacrilege! But you can also give a serious twist by cooking this easy to make Mackerel (Bangda) curry for your Sunday lunch and surprise the family.
3. Nadan Mathi Curry – Sardine Curry, Kerala
This is a spicy and delicious country style Sardine Curry from Kerala. This is an easy to cook Kerala style Sardine (Pedwe) fish curry recipe that can be devoured with hot Kerala rice, Kerala porotta or appams on the side. Made with Sardine, (popularly known as Mathi, Chaala in Kerala), this fish is well known as the ‘poor man’s fish’ as it is economical, nutritious and of course the tastiest fish available in South India. One pre-requisite to this fish curry is that your Sardines should be well cleaned and prepped, but do not let this deter you from trying out this piquant curry.
Recipe: Sardine Curry
4. Karuveppilai Eral Varuval –  Prawns with Curry Leaf Masala, Tamil Nadu

Curiously, people tend to associate Tamil Nadu mostly with vegetarian food. Sure, the Tamil vegetarian dishes are out of this world, but the state also boasts of a wide variety of mouth-watering non-vegetarian dishes owing to its coastline. This aromatic prawn recipe uses curry leaves as the primary ingredient. A perfect example of a southern delight, it’s a simple dish to make where all the spices are ground together with curry leaves and cooked at the same time. So what are you waiting for, get yourself some cleaned and de-shelled prawns and it will not take you more than 30 minutes to put this dish together. Check out the recipe here
5. Chepala Pulusu –  Tamarind Fish Curry, Telengana

Attention all sea food lovers!! This tangy fish gravy is for you. A healthy ladle of this over hot steamed rice will lift up your spirit on a gloomy day. This tangy fish curry from Telengana uses onions and tomatoes roasted in spice powders for giving a body to the curry. The recipe uses gingely oil, tamarind for the tang and not to miss a lot of chilli powder for a typical flavour. To experience these burst of flavors, get hold on the freshest King Fish (Surmai) or Mullet (Boi) that you can find and get cooking. Remember this curry tastes best the next day. Try out the recipe here. 
6. Thalassery Fish Curry – Malabar Fish Curry, Kerala

A beautiful fish curry from God’s own country! This tastes amazing with some hot steamed brown rice. Most famous and very common fish technique from Thalassery and Vatakara in Kerala, this is also called the Malabar Fish Curry. Prepared using fresh coconut paste along with buttermilk or raw mangoes, any firm fish, including Snapper (Rani Fish), Trout, or Salmon (Rawas) will complement this type of preparation. And if you are a coconut based curry lover this recipe is just made for you. Lap it up with rice or appams and get ready for that afternoon snooze. You can find the recipe here.

7. Nandu Chettinad Curry- Crab Masala, Tamil Nadu

Chettinad cuisine which hails from the southern state of Tamil Nadu is influenced by the Chettiar community which makes use of the state’s non-vegetarian bounty. This cuisine is hot, pungent and packs a punch, but it is also flavorsome and is sure to let the spices and food play with your senses. The balance of flavor and spice plays an integral role in this dish. The spices are freshly ground and this brings out all elements of the dish. This is a must try while stepping into the world of Chettinad cuisine. Cleaning and prepping the Crab may get quite cumbersome for you, so try to get hold of ready to use cut, cleaned and prepped crabs to make this easily. Well balanced in flavor and aroma with a firm texture and irresistible.
Recipe: Crab Masala
8. Kallumakkaya Ularthiyat – Mussel Stir Fry, Kerala

It is a simple dish that Kerala is famous for. Kallumakkaya Ularthiyath is a lip-smacking simple yet spicy preparation. Traditionally, the Mussels (Shambuk) are cooked in earthen pots which leave all the aromatic flavors of the pot in the dish. With the rich flavor of Mussel enhanced by the use of pepper, fennel and the chillies, this dish is surely set to please your palate
9. Meen Kohzambu – Fish Curry, Tamil Nadu

The flavorsome aroma of the fish curry can please palates of the pickiest of eaters. This south Indian home style fish curry is simple and finger licking good. ‘Kozhambu’ means ‘curry’ in Tamil and ‘Meen’ means ‘fish’. Traditionally this dish is cooked in earthen ware and is usually rested for some time and then eaten as it helps the fish in absorbing the flavors into it and makes it more juicy and soft. You can use King Fish (Surmai) in this recipe or any one of your favorite fish. Serve it with piping hot rice with a dollop of ghee.
Recipe: Fish Curry
10. Nadan Koonthal Fry – Spicy Squid Roast, Kerala

Nadan Koonthal Fry or Squid Roast is a Kerala style preparation of Calamari or Squid, very spicy, and very traditional. It’s a dry fry, though you can also make it semi gravy if you so wish to. The blend of ginger, freshly made garam masala and freshly ground black pepper and chilli marinade give this dish its robust flavor. You can serve this as a fiery appetizer or as a side to any meal that you are hosting. To make it easy for you to cook this dish, get hold of ready to cook Squid Rings and you are then good to go. Check out the authentic recipe here
These recipes are just a peep into the varied sea food options that states from South India offer. Keep up the fishy affair with us and stay tuned for best seafood recipes from the East.
About the Author
She day-dreams about new recipes, 
devours cook-books, writes, cooks and 
takes pictures of delicious food.
Monalisa Mehrotra

Image Credits:

Image Credit: Cover
Image Credit: Fish Fry
Image Credit:
Mackerel in Hot and Sour Gravy
Image Credit: Sardine Curry
Image Credit: Prawns with Curry Leaf Masala
Image Credit: Tamarind Fish Curry
Image Credit: Malabar Fish Curry
Image Credit: Crab Masala
Image Credit: Mussel Stir Fry
Image Credit: Fish Curry
Image Credit: Spicy Squid Roast

Leave a Comment