Fish Pappas/Fried Fish in a coconut milk sauce

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Meen Pappas/Fish Pappas is a very popular dish of Gods own country Kerala.Being a kuttanattukaari(a native of Kuttanadu),this is regular dish prepared in my family from generations.Its a very tasty dish in which the fish is marinated with spices and limejuice and then is shallow fried and then is again cooked for a little time in creamy and spiced coconut milk,with a hint of crushed black  pepper and slight heat of green chilli and yet a distinct aroma of fennel seeds and slight tanginess of tomatoes and vinegar.This is a combo of so many tastes,packed together into a delicious dish!I just love sitting on the bank of the backwaters(in the backyard of my ancesteral home in Thalavady),watching the beauty of the backwater,soo calm and the gentle swooshing sound of the Bamboo trees in the gentle breeze and having a plate of my Ammachi’s(Great Grandma) Appam and Karimeen Pappas!Those mouthwatering memories..I can never ever forget.

Recollecting those memories,Today I decided to prepare Fish Pappas,only that I didnt have Pomfret/Karimeen.But I decided to proceed with King fish.The taste was simply awesome..delicious..!!Do try it out!!


Recipe source:Mishmash


  • Fish pieces – 1/2 kg
  • Chilli powder – 3 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder – 1 tsp
  • Crushed pepper – 2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Lime juice – 3 tsp
  • Oil for frying the fish.

For Gravy:

  • Onion – 2 (sliced thinly)
  • Crushed Ginger – 1 tbsp
  • Green chilli – 1(whole)
  • Curry leaves – a handfull
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Fennel seeds/Perumjeerakam – 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato – 4 thinly sliced rounds(Half of a tomato)
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup(medium Consistency,neither too thick nor too thin)
  • Vinegar – 3 drops
  • Coconut oil – 3 tbsp


  1. Make a marinade with Lime juice,Chilli powder,Turmeric powder,Pepper powder,Fenugrrek powder and salt and smear it uniformly on the fish pieces on both sides and leave it aside for half an hour .
  2. Now heat oil in  a pan and shallow fry the above marinated fish,by flipping each side till done.Drain from oil and keep aside.
  3. In a Manchatti/Earthen ware/Cooking pan,heat coconut oil,gently swirl the vessel/pan so that the oil coats the inside of the pan uniformly.
  4. Now tear the curry leaves and add to the oil and again gently swirl the curry leaves aroma infused oil so that the oil coats the inside of the pan uniformly.
  5. Now add onions,crushed ginger and green chilli and saute till onion turns transparent.Now add the Turmeric powder,Coriander powder and Fennel seeds and saute well.Add vinegar and saute.
  6. Now place the thinly sliced round tomato slices on the top of this onion base.Close the pan/vessel with a lid and cook for a minute.Now open the lid and place the fried fish pieces gently over the tomato slices.Then gently pour the coconut milk over this and bring to boil in  a medium heat.Now add salt and swirl the pan/vessel (taking care).Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes and turn off the flame.Leave on the kitchen counter for half an hour for flavours to penetrate and serve with Rice/Appam/Chapathis and Enjoy!


Karimeen/Pomfret is the best fish that can be used in this pappas.But due to the unavailability of this fish here,I used King Fish/Neymeen.


12 thoughts on “Fish Pappas/Fried Fish in a coconut milk sauce

    Priya Shiva said:
    July 31, 2014 at 10:53 am

    The Fish pappas look very tempting!

    Chitra Jagadish said:
    July 31, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    What can I say about the dish? Hmmm no guesses about fish taste but coconut gravy looks fab dear Shannu….. wil try in my veg gravy. …👍

    Foodie Adam & Cookie Eve said:
    July 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Absolutely drooling Shannu 🙂

    Lori said:
    August 1, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Hi Shannu….wanted you to know that you have been nominated for the Liebster Award. If you want to accept this award and participate, follow this link:

      food passion and love responded:
      August 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      Awwh…Thanks Lori…Thats really soooo sweet and kind of you 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤ Wish you a great weekend!!

    feedingthesonis said:
    August 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Looks delicious!

    shalzzzzz said:
    August 2, 2014 at 9:34 am
    Liz said:
    August 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Fish in coconut milk is always a great hit!

    Sophie33 said:
    August 6, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I made it yesterday & loved it so much! My hubby Peter loved it too! 🙂

    foodpassionandlove said:
    April 27, 2015 at 12:57 am

    […] fiery Kudampuli ittu vecha Red Fish curry…Oh I love that soo much..Amma even prepares makes Fish pappas,where Fish is marinated and fried and then cooked in a coconut milk gravy..So mouthwatering !Back […]

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