Watch: This Chettinad Fish Fry Is Not Meant For The Faint-Hearted
Image Credit: Chettinad fish could be a great addition to your spread.

The Chettinad cuisine refers to the cuisine of the community of Nattukotai Chettiars, or Nagarathars, who originally hail from the Chettinad region in the Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu. Chettinad cuisine is known for its use of freshly ground masalas, making the dishes considerably hot and fiery. Since the region is dry, a variety of sun-dried meats and salted vegetables are also common in the cuisine.  

While the Chettiars have traditionally been vegetarian, their trade relations got them acquainted with various culinary influences like that of the Christians of the Orthodoxy of West Asia and Muslims who lived on the Malabar coast. By the late 18th century, the Chettiars established ties with Ceylon, Burma, the Dutch East Indies, French Indo-China, which further entrenched the non-vegetarian influence in the cuisine.  

Ironically, for most of India beyond Tamil Nadu, Chicken Chettinad is perhaps the most popular Chettinad dish.  In this video, Slurrp community member and homechef Alison, shows us how to make Chettinad fish. For this recipe, she first makes Chettinad masala, using freshly ground masalas. The masalas are first dry roasted, which imparts a lovely, smoky flavour to the fish. The fish is marinated with masala paste and then shallow-fried.  

You can watch the recipe for Chettinad fish here.  

Here’s the complete recipe for the dish.  


  • Fish - 500 gms(here Rohu has been used- you can use any firm fleshed fish)
  • Cumin/Jeera seeds- 1 tsp
  • Fennel/Saunf- 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies- 4-5
  • Coriander Seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Peppercorns- 1tsp
  • Lemon- half
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Salt- as per taste
  • Oil- to shallow fry


  1. In a pan, take cumin, fennel, coriander seeds, peppercorns, dry red chillies.
  2. Dry roast for 2 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool down.
  4. Grind the masalas well.
  5. Transfer the masala to a bowl, add oil, lemon and salt.
  6. Mix well to form a paste, you can add little water if required to reach the paste consistency.
  7. Marinade the fish pieces with the paste, make sure every fish piece is coated well.
  8. Shallow fry and cook well on both sides.
  9. Add some curry leaves and green chillies,
  10. Take the fish out carefully when both the sides are brown and crisp.  
  11. Serve hot.

You can have the fish hot with rice and some curry, if you are using boneless fish then you can even have it as starters. Try this recipe today and we bet you would be making it again and again.