Moplah marinated fried fish on a plate

Kerala Fish Fry – Malabar Style is one of Abida Rasheed’s signature dishes. We loved sitting in her kitchen watching her expert hands deftly pull the dish together. A quick marinade, a dash of coconut oil, onions frying and we were in heaven.

We also loved the earthenware vessel she used over the hot flame. It really helped the fish retain its moisture because of the clay in the vessel.

The garlic cloves (with skins left on), and curry leaves added at the last minute before serving the dish are like a goodbye kiss from the flames. They sear a final flavour bomb into the dish.

We enjoyed this Kerala Fish Fry – Malabar Style with the local rice bread known as Pathiri. Look for that recipe in the next post. Until then, give this recipe a try, and enjoy this video of Abida in action!

Kerala Fish Fry – Malabar Style Recipe

4 servings


Equipment: It’s best to cook this in a fireproof earthenware dish if possible.

3 Tablespoons Kashmiri chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon rock salt
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (divided)
2 pieces (500 grams total) fish – Pomfret (Aakoli) or Seerfish (Ayakoora/Neimeen) work well
3 – 4 whole garlic cloves (Pro Tip: Abida told us to leave the skins on, just crush the cloves with the flat of a knife, and the flavour of the garlic will be much better retained.)
2 Tablespoons fresh curry leaves


  1. Mix the chilli powder, turmeric, rock salt and 1 Tablespoon of the coconut oil together in a bowl and coat the fish with the mixture.
  2. Heat the remaining coconut oil in a skillet or fire proof earthenware dish over medium high heat. Add the fish and leave it so that you turn it only once and the fish is blackened on both sides.
  3. Lift the fish and add 3 or 4 whole (slightly crushed with skins on) garlic cloves and 2 Tablespoons of fresh curry leaves to the bottom of the pan when the fish is nearly done.
  4. Enjoy with Pathiri.


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