Skip to main content

Chepala Pulusu / Fish Curry

Today I made a traditional Andhra recipe - Chepala Pulusu. This recipe calls for fresh fish as fresh always add more flavor to the dish. Chepala pulusu is fish cooked in tangy tamarind gravy and fragrant ground spices. I have to say, this fish curry makes me lick my fingers every single time I eat it…
This dish taste the very best, the day after it is cooked :). The secret behind that is the fish sits/soaks in the tamarind-spices broth and absorb all the good flavors. So if you are patient enough, cook it and let it sit over night. If you are like me let it sit for 2 or 3 hours and enjoy…
The recipe below is from my mom with one or two of my additions. Give it a try :)


8 to 10 medium size fish pieces (2 to 3 fillets depending on the size or about 3 pounds) (I used Tilapia)
3 tbsp oil
2 large onions chopped real fine
2 tbsp ginger - garlic paste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp red chill powder (adjust per spice level)
1 big lemon sized tamarind or 2 tbsp thick tamarind paste
4 green chillies
4 to 5 curry leaves
Salt for taste
2 tsp garam masala 

For Tempering

1 tsp black cumin seeds (Shahi Jeera)
1 tsp cumin seeds
t tsp fenugreek seeds (menthulu)
3 cloves
small piece of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
4 curry leaves
1 tsp Turmeric
1 elaichi crushed

For Garnish

hand full of Coriander leaves


Beat a cup of yogurt and add 4 to 5 cups of water and salt to it to form a thin liquid. Drop the raw fish pieces into the liquid and give them a good rinse in that liquid. Discard the liquid and run the fish pieces under cold water. This will take away the smell off the fish. Drain the pieces and keep aside.
Soak tamarind in 2 cups of warm water. Let is stand for 15 minutes and then extract as much juice as you can. Save the juice and discard the pulp.
Heat oil in a wide thick bottomed sauce pan. Add the tempering and let them splutter. Add in the curry leaves and let them splutter.
Now add the chopped onions, slit green chillies, salt and fry on medium heat till the onions turn transparent and light golden brown in color. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add in the coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt and fry for a minute. 
Add the tamarind juice and bring it to boil.  Let it cook  on high flame till the  oil starts separating on top  and till the froth on top disappears, At this point check the taste and adjust the seasonings. If in case you are adding more tamarind pulp let it cook for 5 minutes just till the rawness disappears
Stir in the garam masala and carefully place the fish pieces in the pan just in a single layer. Make sure that the fish pieces are immersed in the gravy. Cook covered for 8 to 10 minutes just until the gravy is thick and oil floats on the top. Once you drop the fish into the gravy do not mix with a spoon. Just hold the handle of the pan and rotate it gently. If the fish is fully immersed in gravy as I said earlier you do not have to flip them. But worst case scenario if you want to flip the pieces do it just once and do it with a wide spatula so you don't break the fish pieces. 

Turn off the flame, garnish with coriander leaves. and let the curry sit on the counter over night or for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving so that the spices and tamarind juice will be absorbed by the fish.


As fish tends to be more delicate do not mix with a spoon once you drop the fish pieces into the gravy.
Do not use Salmon for this curry. Tilapia or Catfish or king fish or Mackerel or any kind of firm fish will work.
Let sit the curry before serving for atleast 2 to 3 hours for best taste.


Popular posts from this blog

Andhra royyala vepudu/Andhra style Prawns(Shrimp) fry

My version of shrimp/Prawn curry from my native place popularly known as royyala vepudu. This recipe brings back so many wonderful memories. This being one of my favorite foods and me being a very picky eater growing up, my mom used to give me more of this curry than my brother. Once I grew up, I was told if you leave your favorite food item in the name of god, your wish will come true. My wish came true and I gave up shrimp because this is hands down, the one food I love the most. Been 13 years I gave up Shrimp but still make the curry for hubby dear because this happens to be his favorite too.  Ingredients 3 cups finely chopped Onion Salt per taste(around 3 tsp) 1 tsp Turmeric  2 tsp Coriander powder 6 Green Chillies slit length wise 1 tsp Cumin seeds  3 tsp Ginger garlic 3 to 4 tsp Red chilli powder depending on your spice level 1 tsp Garam masala 3 tbsp Oil 3 tbsp ghee 10 to 15 pieces cashews Handful of Curry leaves, coriander leaves Marinati


Baklava is a Middle Eastern specialty. Baklava is made in many shapes I decided to make them in rolls. Instead of honey I used combination of sugar and honey to glaze and flavored with cardamom. Baklava is made using phyllo dough ; it is available in frozen section where you can find puff pastries in supermarkets. I bought Athens Pyhllo dough at Target. Recipe will make 24 pieces Ingredients 12 sheets of phyllo dough 1 1/2 cup clarified butter 1 1/2 cup ground almond 1 1/2 cup ground walnuts 3 tbsp pistachios 3/4 cup coconut powder 1 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 3 1/4 cup of sugar Syrup 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup water 1/8 cup honey 2 teaspoon lemon juice About 2 tablespoon sliced pistachios for garnish Note Be sure to thaw the phyllo dough using the instruction from the package, phyllo dough should be at room temperature before using. Do not open the package until you are ready to use. Unused sheets roll them in clear plastic wrap and refrigerate . Fo

Pulla attu / Sour Dosa

This is one recipe that jogs my childhood memories. People from coastal Andhra especially from village background will for sure be familiar with this Pullattu. There are lot of versions of how to make this tasty dosa. I almost forgot about this item until one of our friend's mom made this for us for breakfast recently. I asked for the recipe from her and here I am posting it for you ..Special Thanks to aunty :) Ingredients For Batter 2 cups thick butter milk(majjiga) 2 cups rice 1 tsp methi seeds(menthulu) salt per taste For Dosa finely minced green chillies, chopped onions and minced cilantro Method For Batter Wash the rice. Soak rice and methi seeds in the buttermilk over night. Then in a mixer jar take rice, methi seeds, the buttermilk in which we soaked the rice, salt and grind to a smooth paste. The batter can be little thinner. Now take the batter into a bowl and leave it in a warm place to let it ferment overnight. Stick it in the refrigerator the next m