10 Incredibly Delicious Fish Curries From Indian States
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India is a nation with innumerable rivers and a vast coastline, so, naturally, the nation’s regional cuisines have plenty of fish and seafood dishes that are relished across the year. For tourists visiting these regions, getting a taste of these incredible dishes, especially the staple fish curry and rice combination, is a must. And that is precisely the reason why the Chief Minister of Goa, Rohan Khaunte, has devised a new policy for all the shacks across the state saying that serving fish curry and rice is compulsory. The policy has been introduced as a measure to highlight Goan cuisine

While other states of India have not announced similar policies for restaurants and eateries, the fact remains that many are still unaware of the rich, regional fish curries India’s micro-cuisines are capable of producing and enthralling tourists and locals alike with. This is the very reason why knowing about these fish curries from across Indian states is essential. If you are interested in learning more about these delicious and popular fish curries of India, then here is a shortlist of 10 that you must try at least once.  

Video Credit: YouTube/Chef Ranveer Brar

Goan Fish Curry – Goa 

Usually made with basa or other locally available fish varieties, Goan fish curry is known for its spicy, coconut-forward flavours that are very popular in the Konkan region. A basic curry paste is made with spices, onions, red chillies and tamarind and then cooked in a sauce made with coconut milk, tomatoes, onions and green chillies. Mustard seeds are usually used as a tempering in this dish. 

Ilish Maacher Jhol – West Bengal 

Ask any Bengali and they’ll tell you that hilsa or ilish is their favourite fish to eat. While there are plenty of dishes prepared with this fish when it is in season, the simple Ilish Maacher Jhol wins hands down for its humble ingredients and delicious flavours. Made simply with a tempering of panch phoran, onions, tomatoes, mild spices and fried ilish fish, this curry is a must-have with rice. 

Meen Alleppey – Kerala 

A regional staple in large parts of Kerala, this fish dish is made with plenty of curry leaves, coconut milk and is famed for its creamy gravy that pairs incredibly well with rice. Often infused with raw mangoes instead of tamarind during summers, Meen Alleppey has a sweet-and-sour taste accentuated by the use of raw mangoes or tamarind along with the abundant coconut milk available in the state. 

Masor Tenga – Assam 

A staple with rice in Assam, Masor Tenga is a simple yet sophisticated fish curry that sings with the flavours of sweet-and-sour tomatoes. Cooked in mustard oil with rohu or catla fish, this curry is made with plenty of tomatoes, mild spices and often with potatoes to add more bulk to the dish. The dominant flavour of Masor Tenga is tangy. 

Gaadh Te Haak – Kashmir 

This Kashmiri fish curry is packed with the flavours of two basic ingredients: fish and collard greens, locally known as Haak. Prepared with onions, yoghurt, fennel seeds, red chillies, and other whole spices, this curry has a rich, red hue. The collard greens are cooked separately and then added to the gravy base, and so are the fried fish pieces. 

Chepala Pulusu – Andhra Pradesh 

A fish dish originating in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, this one is packed with the flavours of poppy seeds and tamarind. Chepala Pulusu is therefore a fish curry with a creamy, spicy and slightly sour gravy that pairs perfectly with rice. The poppy seeds are roasted and then turned into a paste with onions, chillies and spices. This blend is added to the fish gravy and tamarind is added at the very end. 

Macha Besara – Odisha 

This traditional fish curry from Odia cuisine is usually prepared with rohu fish and cooked in mustard oil and mustard paste. Panch phoron is used to temper the oil and then the gravy is prepared with chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, garlic and a few powdered spices like turmeric. A mustard paste is added with this to make a rich, pungent gravy that seeps into every fish piece.Many people also add potatoes to this simple fish curry. 

Malvani Mase Rassa – Maharashtra 

Spicy, red hued and famed for being one of the best fish curries from the state of Maharashtra, Malvani Mase Rassa is prepared with rohu or catla. The Malvani paste used in this dish includes star anise, nutmeg, pepper, coriander, fennel, cumin and plenty of dry red chillies. The gravy is made with a paste of onions and tomatoes flavoured with this spice blend, and coconut milk and tamarind are used to balance the dish before adding the fish. 

Meen Kuzhambu – Tamil Nadu 

Known for its signature spicy and tangy flavours, Meen Kuzhambu is a Tamil cuisine dish that is relished with steamed rice. While the addition of coconut in this dish is optional, tamarind, curry leaves, mustard seeds and red chillies are a must. Usually prepared with seer fish, this fish curry from Tamil Nadu should not be missed. 

Sarso Wali Machli – Bihar 

Packed with bold mustard flavours, this fish curry from the state of Bihar stands out among mustard-based fish curries from other states. This is primarily because the mustard seeds paste used in this dish is not diluted with poppy seeds, yoghurt or any other ingredient. Instead, the pungence is enhanced by adding plenty of garlic in the paste. The gravy is therefore thick, cooked in mustard oil and also packed with red chillies.