Chepala Kura | How to make Fish Curry

Chepala Kura

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Chepala Kura or Fish Curry is a delicious gravy made with fish. This is a tangy dish that is served with steamed rice and mixed.

While there are different types of fish used to make the gravy, we have always used only Vanjaram or Seer Fish. This is an expensive fish as it has only one long bone and is easy to handle. The gravy is a very simple one using basic pantry ingredients.

Amma mostly uses two or three varieties of gravies that are slightly different in the ingredients, taste wise it comes out different is what the folks say. I have their word for it as none of us eat it.

When I was planning on the thali with fish, I almost thought of making Fish Biryani. That’s one Biryani we are yet to make. So had to go with the new recipe with fish than Meen Kuzhambu what I have already shared.

They say that fish gravy usually tastes even better when it is eaten the next day. I am not sure about it nor have we actually done it. We make it for lunch and then serve it for dinner as well. So even for dinner they tell us that it tastes very good than afternoon.

Many love this fish gravy with Idlis as well, though Hubby dear never ventured to that habit. While Daddy used to vouch for it. Obviously, my boys won’t try with Idlis, while Konda says she has eaten this combination at her friends place.

We make fish only during the season and on top there is always one person who says they don’t want. So we have to plan well for the Sunday lunch. This was one time when nobody actually complained as we had two different types of Fish Fries and they were full with it.

This Chepala Kura or Fish Curry is part of the South Indian Non Veg Thali Menu List 5. On SYL, its a festival thali.

Chepala Kura

Thalis & Platters

Week 1 – Platters for Elders

Indo Chinese Platter for Day 1
Idli Platter for Day 2
Pakoda Platter for Day 3
Colourful Rangoli Food Thali for Day 4

Week 2 – Thalis featuring Non Veg Regional Cuisines – Non Veg Thali

Chicken Donne Biryani – Non Veg Thali 1 for Day 1
Raju gari Kodi Pulao – Non Veg Thali 2 for Day 2
Mutton Biryani – Non Veg Thali 3 for Day 3
Mutton Dum Biryani – Non Veg Thali 4 for Day 4

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Chepala Kura - Seafood Thali

Step By Step Pictures for Chepala Kura

How to make Fish Gravy 1

How to make Fish Gravy 2

How to make Fish Gravy 3

How to make Fish Gravy 4

Ingredients Used to make the Chepala Kura

Tamarind places an important role in all fish gravies. To balance to sore, we use the tomatoes as well.

Next is the use of Shallots. You will find Shallots used in most of the non veg dishes as it lends a wonderful taste to the whole dish.

Then comes the use of garlic which makes all these tangy dishes well balanced.

Apart from the regular spice powders, we have used methi powder. We otherwise use as seeds. This time we hae roasted and ground to powder. It is finally sprinkled and makes the gravy very aromatic.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this as a side dish with hot steamed rice.

You can serve it with hot Idlis as traditionally served

Fish Curry - Seafood Thali

Chepala Kura
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5 from 1 vote

How to make Fish Gravy

Chepala Kura or Fish Curry is a delicious gravy made with fish. This is a tangy dish that is served with steamed rice and mixed.
Course Main Dish - Gravies
Cuisine South Indian
Keyword Fish Gravy
By Cook Method Stovetop
Occasion Weekend Special
By Diet Non Vegetarian
Dish Type Seafood Dishes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 people
Author Srivalli


  • 3 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • A Pinch Asafoetida / Hing
  • 10 cloves Garlic
  • 10 Shallots / Pearl Onions / Sambar Onions
  • 1/2 cup Onions finely chopped
  • Handful Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • 1 big Tomato chopped
  • Rock Salt to taste
  • A Pinch Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Red Chili powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 3 inch Tamarind soaked and extracted
  • 500 gms Seer Fish / Vanjaram
  • 2 no Green Chilis slit
  • Handful Coriander Leaves


  • Soak tamarind in water and extract pulp. Clean and cut the fish to desired size.
  • Chop onions, garlic and tomatoes finely. Heat Oil in a Kadai. Add mustard, chana dal, urad dal, once it splutters, add chopped onions, curry leaves and garlic. Sauté well, fry till its golden in colour.
  • Add tomatoes, Chili powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric, cumin powder, methi powder and rock salt. Cook on high for few mins.
  • Then add tamarind pulp and required water. Cook on high for 5 mins. Simmer it and let it cook till the gravy becomes thick
  • Fish can be added once the gravy thickens and oil has come out. Cook on high flame for 5 mins after adding fish. Then simmer it for 5 mins. Add chopped green chilies and finely chopped coriander leaves at this stage. Once done, remove it from flame.
  • 10 mins is enough to cook fish, else it will get shredded. Also the taste of the gravy changes based on the type of fish used.
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  1. Fish curry and idli is amazing combo we enjoy. It will be good with roti or chapati too. I also make quite similar way without fenugreek and cumin powder. Love the color of the gravy. Too tempting

  2. South Indian is known for its kuzhambu/pulusu varieties naaa. And my friends used to talk about meen kuzhambu and idli. I think each and everyone have their personal preference.

  3. 5 stars
    The curry recipe is different, especially the use of dals in tempering. I have never used this in a fish curry. A new recipe I learned today.

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