Varutharacha Meen and Pacha Manga Curry

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This another popular fish curry from Kerala. Fish plays a major role in the daily food preparation of an average Kerala family.  The term “Varutharacha Curry” refers to Roasted Coconut Gravy.  I used Halibut from Alaska for this curry.
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 minutes
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 45 Hour
Yield: 4 servings
Difficulty: Intermediate

Ingredients for Gravy

  • 2 lb any fleshy fish (King fish, Pomfret, Tilapia, etc )
  • 1 cup Raw Green Mango, diced
  • 2 Green Chilies, diced
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Roasted Coconut Paste

  • 1 1/2 cup Grated Coconut
  • 1 large red Onions, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fenugreek Powder
  • 3 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 2 teaspoon Coconut oil

Ingredients for tempering

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 large Shallots sliced
  • 3 dry red chilies, broken into pieces
  • 2 springs curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


  1. In large frying pan, roast coconut and curry leaves over medium heat, stirring constantly until the coconut turns cinnamon brown with no white remaining.
  2. Add all the spice powders listed above ‘For Roasted Coconut Paste’ and fry on a low heat for a few minutes until spices begin to fry and smell (burning the spice will ruin the taste of this dish. So do take extra care during this step).
  3. Remove it from the heat and transfer to a blender.  Add 2 cups of water and blend to a smooth paste like think pesto; set aside.
  4. Clean and wash the fish and drain off the excess water and set it aside.
  5. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (preferably in an Enameled cast-iron), over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking.
  6. Add grounded coconut mixture, green chillies, raw green mangoes pieces, salt along with 2 cup of water and mix well, simmer on medium-low heat until all flavors come together for about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Gently add fish pieces to curry. Add more hot water to the curry if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cook for another 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Gently shake the pan to circulate the liquid.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste
  9. Heat oil in a frying pan, over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the mustard seeds and cover.  When seeds have popped, toss in all the ingredients under “To Temper” and let them crackle for few seconds.
  10. Pour it over the gravy and keep covered until you are ready to serve, so the gravy absorbs all the flavors.
  11. Serve with rice or paratha

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