Anna Zacharria's fish fry preparation.

Pomfret is the most common fish in a Keralan Fish Fry. Pomfret flesh is white and delicate in both texture and flavour, making it an ideal complement to a tasty masala.

Here we share Anna Zacharria of Green Palm Homestay’s recipe.

This Fish Fry Masala may be multiplied many fold and then kept in the refrigerator for future use. Just add a little water and stir if it becomes firm.

Anna Zacharria’s Fish Fry Recipe



2 small flat sea fish*, cleaned and skin removed but with head and tail intact.

Fish Fry Masala
2 Tablespoons Kashmiri chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground fennel or anise seed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 Tablespoon garlic paste
Water to form a paste
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
20 fresh curry leaves

*Pomfret is the fish commonly used in the Kerala backwaters


1. Combine the chili powder, salt, turmeric, fennel, pepper, garam masala and garlic paste in a bowl and add enough water to make a paste. Rub it in on all sides on all sides of the fish. Leave it to marinate for a minimum of 10 minutes or up to 4 hours in the fridge.
2. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat and add the curry leaves.
3. Place the fish on top of the curry leaves and fry until crispy on both sides, turning only once, about 5 minutes per side.

Thanks for trying this recipe.

We'd love to hear from you.