Kayastha Prabhu Pomfret Kalvan; A Mild Coconut-Based Fish Curry
Image Credit: Ambat-Tikhat Kitchen

Depending on what kind of ethnic group you belong to in Maharashtra, every region has their own variation of a kalvan – or curry made with seafood. The Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (CKP) is a community of Maharashtrians that base their cuisine off of a heavy reliance on coconut and tamarind. Commonly, the usage of dried or dehydrated ingredients like bombil (Bombay duck), val (field beans) and kolambi (prawns) are items you will find being used across a variety of dishes. Other ingredients like jaggery, bananas and coconut milk are also some of the more widely used ingredients, as a result of having access to them in abundance along the coast.

Atypical of the firery Malvan curries and vegetable side dishes or the vinegary Goan curries that we’re familiar with, this CKP Kalvan made with pomfret is a subtly flavoured, yellow curry that is best eaten with rice or bhakris made of rice flour. The perfect ‘Sunday recipe’ or one to make during a leisurely lunch, this curry is ideal to make when you’re cooking for large groups of people or even entertaining a couple of friends at home. With minimal preparation time and hardly any supervision needed to throw this curry together, this recipe will get you to the finish line within a matter of a few minutes. You could also replicate this curry using other seafood like clams, crab, prawns or even fresh sardines.


Image Credits: Flavours Of My Kitchen


  • ½ kilo pomfret, sliced and cleaned
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  • 2-3 green chillies, slit
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste



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  • Wash and pat dry the pomfret slices and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the spice powders and set aside.
  • Grind the garlic, coriander seeds, quarter cup tamarind pulp and ginger to a fine paste and add to the marinating fish. Combine to make sure each piece absorbs all the flavour.
  • Separately, grind the coconut into a semi-liquid paste with some extra water. Heat the oil in a pan and add the slit green chillies to let them sizzle lightly. Add the marinating pomfret and clean out the remaining marinade by adding some hot water and swirling into the pan.
  • Add the grated coconut paste, the remaining tamarind pulp and season with salt. Allow it to simmer on a medium-high flame for 8-10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through completely.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with some rice or bhakri on the side.