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Thakkali meen kari recipe

Thakkali meen kari recipe

10 ratings

A spicy tomato fish curry with mustard seeds, chilli and turmeric that is a classic recipe from Kerala, written by Maunika Gowardhan. Use any white fish you like! See method

  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins to prepare and 5 mins to cook
  • 261 calories / serving
  • Healthy
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free


  • 1 tbsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 150g onions, thinly sliced
  • 10 dried curry leaves, roughly crushed
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 3 heaped tbsp tomato purée
  • 500g pack frozen hake fillets
  • 1 lime, juiced​
  • pinch of sugar​
  • 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped, to garnish
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve (optional)
If you don't have any limes, try a lemon instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    14g 21%
  • Saturates

    1g 6%
  • Sugars

    6g 6%
  • Salt

    1g 16%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 8.2g Protein 22.3g Fibre 5g


  1. Put the chilli powder, ground coriander and turmeric in a small bowl. Mix with 2 tbsp water to form a paste; set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy- bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds; when they begin to crackle, add the onions. Fry for 6 mins to soften. Add the curry leaves and garlic & ginger paste. Fry for 1 min, then add the tomato purée. Fry for 6 mins, stirring well. Add the spice paste and fry for 1 min. Add 400ml water and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add the fish, cover and simmer for 10 mins. Stir gently halfway through – try to keep the fsh intact.

  3. Remove from the heat and halve each piece of fish with the spoon. Add the lime juice, sugar and fresh coriander. Serve with rice, if you like.

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