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Meen Vevichathu (Red Fish Curry)

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Meen Vevichathu, or Red Fish Curry, is a tangy and spicy Kerala-style fish curry with bold flavours in a rich, aromatic sauce. This dish, perfect for seafood lovers, combines fresh fish with a blend of spices and kokum, making every bite a burst of flavour.

Meen Vevichathu, or Red Fish Curry, is a beloved dish from Kerala that combines the heat of spices with the tangy flavour of kokum. This curry is known for its vibrant red colour and rich, aromatic gravy, making it a favourite among seafood lovers. The fish is cooked to perfection in a blend of spices, garlic, ginger, and kokum, resulting in a dish that’s as flavorful as it is comforting.

About the Recipe

Meen Vevichathu is more than just a fish curry; it’s a flavorful journey through Kerala’s culinary heritage. The combination of spices creates a depth of flavour that is both complex and satisfying. The key to this dish is kokum, which adds a unique tanginess that balances the heat of the chilli powder. Cooking the curry in an earthenware pot enhances the flavours, making it an authentic experience. Whether you’re new to South Indian cuisine or a seasoned cook, this recipe offers a delightful way to explore the rich flavours of Kerala.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

You will love Meen Vevichathu for its bold flavours and aromatic appeal. The blend of spices and the tangy kokum creates a mouthwatering dish perfect for any seafood enthusiast. The simplicity of the ingredients and the straightforward cooking process makes it accessible to cooks of all levels. This curry satisfies your taste buds and brings a touch of Kerala’s coastal charm to your table. It’s a dish that promises to become a favourite in your kitchen.

Meen Vevichathu Red Fish Curry

Meen Vevichathu Red Fish Curry

Cooking Tips

  • Freshness is Key: Ensure the fish is fresh to enhance the overall flavour of the curry.
  • Grind the Spices Well: Grinding the spices with garlic and ginger into a smooth paste ensures an even distribution of flavours.
  • Use Earthenware: Cooking in an earthenware pot enhances the taste and authenticity of the dish.
  • Adjust the Heat: Feel free to adjust the amount of chilli powder to suit your heat tolerance.
  • Simmer: Let the curry simmer to allow the flavours to meld together beautifully.

Cultural Context

Meen Vevichathu hails from Kerala, a coastal state in India known for its rich culinary traditions and love for seafood. This dish is traditionally served during special occasions and family gatherings, reflecting the region’s vibrant culture and love for bold flavours. The use of kokum and the specific spice blend are hallmarks of Kerala’s unique approach to cooking.

Serving and Storing Suggestions

Meen Vevichathu is best served hot with steamed rice or appam (rice pancakes). It serves four people and takes about 45 minutes to prepare and cook. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently on the stove to preserve the fish’s texture and the curry’s flavour.

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Nutrient Benefits

This dish features garlic, known for its immune-boosting properties, and ginger, which aids digestion. The fish provides essential omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit heart health. Kokum adds not only a unique flavour but also acts as a digestive aid.

Meen Vevichathu Red Fish Curry
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Meen Vevichathu (Red Fish Curry)

Meen Vevichathu, or Red Fish Curry, is a tangy and spicy Kerala-style fish curry with bold flavours in a rich, aromatic sauce. This dish, perfect for seafood lovers, combines fresh fish with a blend of spices and kokum, making every bite a burst of flavour.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian


  • 1/2 kg Fish Pieces: 1/2 kg
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder: 2 tbsp
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
  • 1/8 tsp Fenugreek Seeds: 1/8 tsp
  • 12 cloves Garlic: 12 cloves
  • 2 tsp Ginger (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup Refined Vegetable Oil: 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  • 2 tbsp Button Onions: 2 tbsp sliced
  • Curry Leaves (Few)
  • 2 pcs Kokum (washed and soaked in water)
  • 2 cups Water (2 cups)
  • Salt (To taste)


  • Clean the fish pieces thoroughly in salted water.
  • Grind six garlic cloves, 1 tsp ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder, and fenugreek seeds into a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Add sliced onions, remaining garlic, ginger, and curry leaves. Sauté until slightly browned, then set aside.
  • In the same oil, fry the ground masala until aromatic.
  • Add the soaked kokum and 2 cups of water to the masala. Season with salt.
  • Transfer the mixture to an earthenware vessel and bring it to a simmer.
  • Gently add the fish pieces and the sautéed ingredients to the pot.
  • Cook half-covered until the curry starts to boil. Then, remove the lid and simmer on low heat until the gravy thickens and the fish is cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is kokum, and can I substitute it for Meen Vevichathu?

Meen Vevichathu gets its distinctive tangy flavour from kokum, a fruit in many Indian coastal recipes. If kokum is unavailable, tamarind can be a suitable substitute, though it has a slightly different flavour profile. Soak tamarind in water and use the pulp to achieve the desired tanginess. The dish’s authenticity shines with kokum, but tamarind can still deliver a deliciously tangy result.

How do I ensure the fish doesn’t break apart while cooking?

Meen Vevichathu requires gentle handling of the fish pieces to maintain their integrity. Use firm fish like kingfish or mackerel, which hold up well during cooking. Add the fish pieces gently and avoid stirring too vigorously. Cooking on low heat after the initial boil helps prevent the fish from breaking apart, ensuring a perfect texture in the final dish.

Can I make Meen Vevichathu ahead of time?

Meen Vevichathu can be prepared beforehand, as the flavours meld and improve with resting. Make the curry a day in advance and refrigerate. Reheat gently on the stove before serving, ensuring the fish doesn’t overcook. This dish stores well in the fridge for up to two days, making it convenient for meal planning and gatherings.

What side dishes pair well with Meen Vevichathu?

Meen Vevichathu pairs beautifully with steamed rice, appam, or dosa. These neutral sides balance the bold flavours of the curry. For a complete meal, serve with a sautéed greens or a simple cucumber salad. These accompaniments complement the spicy, tangy notes of the curry, making for a satisfying and well-rounded meal.

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