Homely Fish Curry with the Goodness of Coconut
Image Credit: Image credit: Shuterstock| Mackrel curry

The Coastal city of Kerala is a home to numerous non-vegetarian and vegetarian delicacies. Situated on the coastal banks, it is also known as the Land of the Coconuts, the big brown fruit plays a significant role in the rich and spicy cuisines of Kerala . No tales of the legendary cuisine cultures of Kerala can be complete without a freshly grated coconut or coconut milk. It is added to almost every cuisine, chutneys and curries and tempers bold flavours, makes them subtle and at the same time takes up the richness to the top . Thenga Aracha Curry is one such coconut-based delish among the classic delicacies of Kerala. ‘Thenga’ is a Malayalam term meaning coconut and ‘Aracha’ means paste.

Image credit: Shuterstock

As the name suggests, here the Coconut is grounded on a silbatta ( stone mortar pestle) to form a smooth paste along with shallots, green chillies and spices. The paste is then mixed with water to make the dreamy coconut-grated thick gravy. The fish is simmered in this flavourful mixture. Isn’t it amazing how such simple ingredients comes together effortlessly to create something so delicious. This phenomenal delicacy of Kerala is mildly spicy - while tamarind adds a bit of tangy taste, the tender fish simmered in coconut paste is truly authentic and heart-warming. Does reading about this signature dish of Kerala make you drool? Then no need to worry, for you can relish the delicious dish at home with this traditional recipe of Thenga Aracha Curry and Mackerel Fish.

Thenga Aracha Curry 

Preparation time – 10 minutes

Cooking time – 35 minutes


1 kg Mackerel fish

8-12 Finely chopped Shallots

3-4 Green chillies

1 Finely chopped Ginger

4 soaked Malabar Tamarind

1 cup Freshly Grated coconut

1 teaspoon Fenugreek powder

3-4 Dry red chilli

1 teaspoon Coriander seed

1 teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoon Oil


Clean the fishes properly. Cut the fish into small pieces and wash them again. Keep aside.

In a mixer-grinder or silbatta, put the dried red chillies and coriander seeds. Grind them well. Then add freshly grated coconut and shallots into the mixture, to form a thick paste. Blend the ingredients well and set aside.

In a large skillet, pour oil and add chopped shallots, green chillies, chopped ginger and curry leaves. Saute for a few minutes.

Add the grinded coconut paste.  Mix the masala properly with the ingredients. Stir and cook for a few minutes.

Add water and stir.

Now add soaked Malabar tamarind. And more water. Add salt. Stir well.

Add fenugreek powder. Mix well.

Cover and cook. Bring it to a boil. Remove the lid and give a quick stir.

Now add the mackerel fish. Cover and cook. Bring back to boil until the fish becomes tender.

Remove from flame and cover the skillet. Let it sit for 10 more minutes. And you are good to go!

Garnish with some fried shallots and curry leaves.

Serve hot with rice or appam or parotta in a banana leaf.

Eat with your hands and Enjoy Kerala at Home only!