Why Kerala's Heart Beats For Karimeen

Kerala, referred to as 'God's Own Country', has never failed to captivate the attention of the travellers. But, the hearts of people living in the state still skip a beat for Karimeen. Known as pearl spot fish, it is equally popular among travellers visiting Kerala from different geographical locations. This delicacy enriches the taste palette of almost every sea-food lover. The saline and sweet flavour of the sea is peculiar to its taste. It is owing to the love for Karimeen in Keralites that it was declared as the state's official fish in 2010. 

Try a shallow fried Karimeen fish and know what the hype is all about. It truly deserves the GI tag, which is given to food items to protect their authentication and boost their popularity as unique dishes.

Well, why did faith in Karimeen never dwindle for people from Kerala? The reasons are plenty. Dig deep to know. 

What is Karimeen And Why Is It So Popular In Kerala?

Karimeen fish is only found in Kerala in its organic form and therefore people living in the state take great pride in calling the fish its special delicacy. Moreover, the fish plays a vital role in boosting Kerala’s tourism. Yes, you read that right! Kerala is not only known for its Ayurvedic medicines, treatments, backwaters, and serene beaches but also its worth-exploring cuisine that includes Karimeen apart from other specialties. The humble pearl spot also lures foreigners to this beautiful land. The state promises to offer a range of delectable Karimeen dishes to its guests. 

 An average length of 22 cm and 250 gm weight describe the Kerala wonder, Karimeen. It looks compressed and oval with large eyes and a small mouth. It has a few irregular black spots over its abdomen and mainly eats aquatic plants. The mouth-watering taste of this fish is matchless and that’s the reason why Malayali people just can’t forget . Even though Karimeen is available to relish throughout the year, winter is said to be the best time to enjoy it. Notably, it traces its origin in the Kuttanad district in Alappuzha. Fried, simmered, or Southern-spices grilled are must-try varieties of the fish. 

Trivia – you can’t catch Karimeen fish in a net. Why? Well, it has a unique physical feature that helps it in escaping through the net and hiding beneath the bog. 

You can relish this scrumptious fish anywhere in Kerala. Here is a list of restaurants where you can head to gorge on the same. 

Hotel Smitha

It is nestled in Muhamma in Alappuzha. Hotel Smitha is owned by an Ayurvedic degree holder and was initially called Vaidyarude Kada meaning doctor’s shop. 

Grand Hotel Restaurant 

Situated in Ernakulam, Grand Hotel Restaurant serves a variety of authentic local dishes that can leave you asking for more. It has Karimeen fish on its menu too. 

Pearl Spot, Ramada Cochin

The name only suggests the availability of the special delicacy, Karimeen. Dining alongside stunning views of Lake Vembanad here is an experience in itself. 

To meet those immediate cravings for Karimeen back at home, one can even try its recipe at home. Follow the steps mentioned below and turn it into a hit-at-home recipe: