Chettinad Cuisine For Dinner; Know How To Make Chettinad Fish Fry For Dinner
Image Credit: Chettinad Fish Fry/ Instagram- pallavi_p_shelar

Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of the Nattukotai Chettiars, also known as Nagarathars, from the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu's Shivagangai district in South India. Chettinad cuisine is possibly the most well-known of Tamil Nadu's cuisines. The dishes are prepared using fresh ground masalas and a variety of spices. The use of sun-dried meats and salted vegetables by the Chettiars reflects the region's dry climate. Rice and rice-based accompaniments such as dosas, appams, idiyappams, adais, and idlis are served with the majority of the dishes. Through their economic relations with Burma, the Chettiars learned to make a form of sticky red rice pudding. The chefs of Manapatti village, near Singampuneri, are Chettinad food experts. They used to cook in large quantities for weddings, political parties, and other events. Even though Manapatti cookery is associated with Madurai cuisine due to its proximity to the Madurai district, it belongs to the Chettinad cuisine category and the Chettinad region of the Sivagangai district. The entire community is known for its art of cooking. Star anise, whole red chillies, fennel seed, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorn, cumin seeds, and fenugreek are some of the spices used in traditional Chettinad cuisine. Dried flower pods and kalpasi are traditional "secret" ingredients in Chettinad cuisine. Tomatoes, coconut, ginger, and garlic are added to the gravies to make them richer. Grinding stones were used to mill the spices in the past. The Chettinad cuisine is full of distinct fragrances and flavours. Chettinad fish fry recipe comes from the Chettinad district of Tamil Nadu and uses a variety of wonderful spices for marination, giving it a distinct flavour. Surmai fish is marinated before being pan-fried until crispy and browned. They are marinated in a delectable Chettinad spice paste that dives deep into the flesh giving it an authentic flavour and taste. Chettinad fish fry is a dry dish that is a blend of all the Chettinad spices and its art of cooking. The key difference between Chettinad fish fry and Kerela fish fry is the use of garam masala. This dish is perfect for those days when you crave something exotic for your dinner but don't want to have anything heavy.

Here's how you can make Chettinad Fish Fry at home for a perfect spicy dinner-


  1. 4 fish steaks
  2. Oil

For Marination

  1. Red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  2. Black pepper powder
  3. Turmeric powder
  4. Garam masala powder
  5. Shallots or pearl onions, ground to a paste
  6. Ginger garlic paste, freshly crushed
  7. Salt to taste


  1. Clean the fish steaks and allow the excess water to drain from the fish steaks.
  2. To make the marinade, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. The marinade should be a thick paste, so the shallots and ginger garlic should provide enough moisture, but if not, add a few drops of water.
  4. Coat the fish pieces generously with the fish fry marinade on all sides.
  5. Allow the marinated fish pieces to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Heat enough oil to shallow fry the fish when ready to fry.
  7. Put each piece of fish gently into the hot oil and keep the heat on a medium-high flame.
  8. Fry all sides of the fish until dark brown and cooked through.
  9. Serve with raw onions and lemon slices on the side.


  1. Maintain medium-high heat at all times. If the heat is low, the marinade will cook first and fall off the fish.
  2. The paste should be thick and not watery.
  3. Add a teaspoon of oil to the marinade to crisp up the fish upon frying.