fish pulusu

Fish pulusu recipe (chepala pulusu)

By Swasthi on August 29, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Fish pulusu is my mom’s special recipe for which everyone in our family & friends appreciate her a lot. This is not an authentic andhra fish pulusu recipe, but is a quick and easy version of making a yummy fish gravy using tamarind. We love grilled, tawa fried simple fish recipes at home since it an absolutely healthy way to consume. They are easy and quick to make as well.

fish pulusu recipe

This fish pulusu is the followed at my mum’s home for years. We haven’t looked back for any other recipe since the results are good. The recipe needs a basic garam masala that is not very strong to keep the flavors of fish dominant.

A paste made of poppy seeds / khus khus or coconut is used to make this simple gravy taste delicious. This Andhra pulusu tastes the best when consumed after 2 to 3 hours of cooking.

Preparation for fish pulusu

1. Marinate the fish with red chili powder, turmeric, salt and lemon juice. Set aside for 30 minutes. Soak tamarind in little hot water. When softened, extract the juice and filter it. Set this aside. Fry whole spices in hot oil until aromatic. Add curry leaves, onions and chilies. Fry until onions golden.

marinate fish

2. While the onions fry, make a fine paste of roasted poppy seeds or coconut with little water. Set aside.

poppy seeds paste

Making fish pulusu

3. Add ginger garlic paste to the onions and fry until the raw smell goes off. Place the fish pieces and fry for 3 minutes on each side.

fry onions golden for fish pulusu

4. Pour the tamarind juice over the fish and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

tamarind pulp fish pulusu

5. Add garam masala, salt and then add little water. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add poppy seeds paste to the boiling water. Stir gently and cook till the pulusu begins to bubble up. Add coriander leaves and cover. Switch off the stove.

garnishing fish pulusu

Serve andhra style fish pulusu with rice.

fish pulusu

For more Fish recipes
Fish curry
Easy fish fry
Fish vepudu
Dum style fish biryani

Related Recipes

Recipe card

fish pulusu

Fish pulusu (chepala pulusu)

Andhra style fish pulusu is a delicious, spicy and slightly tangy gravy. It can be served with rice or chapati.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Jump to Comments

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 kg fish cut to pieces (check the pics for the size)
  • 1 cup onions finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 green chilies slit
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 to 5 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp Poppy seeds slightly roasted or ½ cup of grated coconut
  • 2 tsp garam masala adjust slightly to suit your taste
  • ½ to 1 tsp red chili powder (use as needed, it can be very hot)
  • 8 to 10 stalks coriander leaves with stems
  • 2 tbsps Tamarind or as needed
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

Whole spices (optional except cumin)

  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon or dalchini
  • ½ tsp cumin or jeera
  • 1 green cardamom or elaichi


  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Salt as needed
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chili powder


Preparation for fish pulusu

  • Wash the fish pieces thoroughly under running water to remove odor.
  • Drain the water thoroughly.
  • Marinate the pieces with the marination ingredients and set aside for 30 mins.
  • Soak tamarind in hot water and filter to extract the clean juice.
  • If you chose to use poppy seeds: Dry roast and grind poppy seeds to a fine paste. First powder the seeds finely, then add water and make a paste else your poppy seeds will remain coarse and you will get it in the mouth while you eat.
  • If you choose to use grated coconut, grind coconut with ¼ cup of water and extract the milk. Discard the pulp. Take care not to add too much water while grinding.

Making fish pulusu

  • Heat a heavy bottomed wide pan with oil, add whole spices once you get an aroma, and add curry leaves and sauté.
  • Add onions and green chilies, fry till they turn golden.
  • Add ginger garlic paste, sauté for a min.
  • Place the pieces and fry on a medium high for 3 mins. Flip to the other side carefully and fry for another 3 mins.
  • Pour tamarind juice all over the pieces. Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Add garam masala powder. Adjust the salt and chili powder, if needed. Pour water just enough to partially cover the pieces. Cover and simmer for just 4 to 5 mins on a medium flame.
  • Add the coconut or poppy seeds paste and tilt the pan slightly to one side and get over the pulusu on to the pieces. Mix the pulusu by leaving the pieces intact. Let it begin to bubble. Cook for few more mins or till it is cooked. Add coriander leaves too. Over cooking can break the pieces. Taste the pulusu to check spicy, tangy and salt. Any adjustments can be done now.
  • Serve andhra fish pulusu with rice or roti.


Ensure that you use a wide pan, like a pressure pan. Do not crowd the pieces.
Do not stir or mix the curry too much while cooking. This will cause the pieces to break.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Fish pulusu (chepala pulusu)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 311 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 125mg42%
Sodium 147mg6%
Potassium 891mg25%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 52g104%
Vitamin A 120IU2%
Vitamin C 14.7mg18%
Calcium 103mg10%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

Follow Swasthi’s Recipes


Recipe Rating

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What kind of fish is this by the way? Living here in Germany this information would help find the source to buy this kind. Thanks

5 stars
Being an andhra fellow, but born n bought up in bombay…never my recipe tasted that taste of chepulu pulusu.. But ur recipe is so wonderful, I remembered my mom… Thanks alot..

really lovely ! thanks for sharing. everything from chicken to fish to chose to rajma seems to have onion and tomato as base… I was so tired of it. so happy to have found this option 🙂

Also, thanks for being my go to guide for all recipes… u r saviour :3

5 stars
Very tasty, never expected that my fish gravy would be like this. I used emperor fish and it was like ???. My brother just ?ed it a lot. Thank u so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.?

hi after roasting the poppy seeds and grinding them my mixture went brown. Is that ok?

Tamarind to be measured in tbsp or tamarind paste. Pls reply. I want to try this. Mention tamarind in size or gms.

Dear Swasti,
I tried this recipe and it turned out great. Not only this one all of your recipes turns out great for first time itself. Nice collection.


4 stars

I have made this more than twice n the same wonderful tangy pulusu every single time…. this is a really great recipe for first timers like me

5 stars
Hi swathi,
I tried this recipe with a twist of adding few slightly roasted whole Anaheim chilis, along with the fish and it turned out really tasty. My father in law liked it a lot, so it goes into my recipe collection. Thanks for your recipe.

5 stars
Can you provide recipe for steamed whole fish for fresh-faced water fishes. Thanks in advance. Anupam Goyal

5 stars
Thank you madam..

It came out excellent

5 stars
Hii dear..i am a bachlor & engg student.thaks for your recipes to makes our food delicous…when i think try some new item i just search in ur page & tried it..& its was amezing…supb

Thnks to u.

5 stars
Ma’am can you please add the pdf option in all fish receipies so we can print the same??

4 stars
Please add print option in fish recipes so we can print the same.

5 stars
Hello swathi garu, I tried fish recipe its very delicious thanks for recipe

4 stars
its vry delious dish..i luvd it..

andhra fish pulusu is very tasty. thank u.

hi …its verrry sweet
nice yaar. i like it …its my choice


what is …i like it…

3 stars
Very good recipies..i made a tasty fish curry for the first time after reading it..thank you…

realy good

Pls tell me some fish names with single bone.