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.
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.
Andhra fish pulusu
Ingredients (1 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
Dry spices (all the dry spices are 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
How to make the recipe
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 dry 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.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Do not stir or mix the curry too much while cooking. This will cause the pieces to break.
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
Preparation for fish pulusu recipe
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 dry spices in hot oil until aromatic. Add curry leaves, onions and chilies. Fry until onions golden.
2. While the onions fry, make a fine paste of roasted poppy seeds or coconut with little water. Set aside.
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.
4. Pour the tamarind juice over the fish and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
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.
Serve andhra style fish pulusu with rice.