Recipes R Simple

Thenga Aracha Meen Curry – Kerala Style Fish Curry with Ground Coconut


thenga aracha meen curry

Thenga Aracha Meen Curry – Kerala Style Fish Curry with Ground Coconut


The Signature dish in many a Kerala home. This is my home style Kerala Fish Curry. Thenga Aracha Meen Curry‘, translates to Ground Coconut Fish Curry. Thenga (Coconut) is ground to a smooth paste along with shallots, green chillies and spices. This paste is then diluted with water to make the curry base. The fish is simmered in this mixture till thickened. A little bit of coconut milk can also be added. Fish tamarind ‘Kudampuli’  is our souring agent. Ginger adds a hint of aromatic spice  and this Yummy Curry is finished off by Tempering with some fried shallots and curry leaves in the irreplaceable Coconut Oil. ( the  fried ingredients as well as the scented oil is poured over the curry and allowed to rest). 

This is the perfect lunchtime curry served with hot rice!

Thenga Aracha Meen Curry – Kerala Style Fish Curry with Ground Coconut

Recipe Type: Curry Main
Author: Recipes ‘R’ Simple
Prep time: 20
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6

Ingredients for Thenga aracha meen curry:

  • ¾ kg fish steaks on the bone. – King Fish is a good option for this curry
  • 2 pieces of Fish Tamarind /Coccum/ Kudampuli
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • ½ tsp freshly grated ginger (finely grated)
Coccum (Kudampuli)

Coccum (Kudampuli)

To be ground to a smooth paste

  • 2 ½ cups/ 250 gms Fresh grated coconut.
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 small green chillies
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • few curry leaves

For Tempering:

  •  2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2-4 shallots, sliced
  • a handful of curry leaves
  • sliced green chillies, sliced – optional


  The coconut paste must be ground on a stone ( sil bata) for the most authentic taste. I use my stone wet grinder. If you do not have one, use a heavy duty mixer – grinder instead.

  • Put all the ingredients  to be ground into the wet grinder/ mixer and grind for a good 10-15 minutes, till you get a nice smooth paste. (Add just enough water to help the mixture to be ground smoothly and no more).
  • Meanwhile, cut, clean and set aside your fish pieces.
  • Add about half the amount of the ground paste ( about ¾ – 1 cup)  to an Earthen Pot ‘Man Chatti’. (You can make the coconut paste in bulk – just double the recipe. It can be frozen in individual freezer bags  to make  the next curry easily).
  • Add 3 cups of water. Stir well. The mixture should be loose and thin but not too watery. If it seems too watery you need to add a bit more paste. See Video.
  • Turn on the heat and allow to come to a simmer.
  • Add the fish tamarind.
  • When the curry boils, add the fish pieces and bring back to a boil.
  • Add salt now.
  • Allow to simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, till the curry has thickened.
  • Now add the coconut cream and swirl the pot to incorporate. (Do not stir with ladle or you risk breaking your fish pieces). This is to get the perfect creamy consistency, without being gritty or too loose. You can also use the thickest extract of coconut milk.
  • Grate te fresh ginger, straight into the simmering curry.
  • Add just a little water at the very end to prevent further thickening of the curry / just to loosen a bit.
  • Switch off the heat and cover the pot.

For Tempering:

  • Heat the coconut oil in a small pan.
  • Add shallots, curry leaves and green chillies(if using). Fry the shallots till golden brown.
  • Add over the curry. Do not stir. Keep the pot covered and allow the curry to rest. (10 – 20 minutes at least)
  • Serve hot with rice! Yum!

Thenga Aracha Meen Curry – Kerala Style Fish Curry with Ground Coconut

Try it and let us know – Thenga Aracha Meen Curry – Kerala Style Fish Curry with Ground Coconut.


  • While tempering, you can add a pinch of fenugreek seeds first.
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    • Hello. Thanks for bringing my attention to the mistake in this post. The coconut cream is added after the ground coconut mixture and fish has simmered for 10-20 minutes. It makes the consistency just right. It is shown in the video. Hope this helped. Thanks again. Happy Cooking!

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