Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry / Meen (fish) Vevichathu

Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry / Meen (fish) Vevichathu is a deliciously mouthwatering spicy and tangy curry which is specially made in Kottayam district of Kerala. It is served along with steamed rice or Tapioca (Kappa). Here is my version of this curry, but each recipe is a little different!  Red masala is a little spicy, but if you want it to be spicier please check my notes at the very end.

Fish pieces are cooked in medium flame with masala paste and tamarind water to create this flavorful Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry / Meen (fish) Vevichathu. You can also check my other seafood recipes here.

Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry / Meen (fish) Vevichathu

If you try this Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry / Meen (fish) Vevichathu, please hashtag your photos with #MozisMenu on Instagram and tag me with @MozisMenu. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!

Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 minutes
Total Time
35 minutes

I have a bite-sized video to show you how to make Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry / Meen (fish) Vevichathu.


  • Any Fish (I’ve used salmon here) – 1 pound (around ½ kg), cut into medium size pieces
  • Shallots (small onion) – 6, sliced
  • Ginger – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Green chili – 2, slits
  • Kashmiri red chili powder – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Fenugreek powder – a pinch
  • Cocum (kudampuli) – 3 pieces (or) Tamarind paste – 2 tbsp (please check the notes before you start cooking)
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig + ½ sprig
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste

To Temper:-

  • Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp


    1. Clean the fish in salt and water, and keep it aside after draining the water completely. Then heat oil in a deep bottomed pan (or) earthen pot, and rotate the pan to evenly spread the oil on all sides of the pan.
    2. Add the items given under ‘To Temper’. Once it starts to splutter, add ginger and garlic and stir it for a couple of minutes. Add green chili and shallots and saute it till it becomes translucent.
    3. In a bowl, take Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, and fenugreek powder. Mix it all together to make the masala, and then add it to the pan and mix it well.
    4. In a bowl, take tamarind paste and add ½ cup of warm water and mix it well (If using cocum, add the soaked cocum as described in the notes). Then add it to the masala and mix it well.
    5. Add water and salt and mix it again. Allow it to boil for 2 – 3 minutes.
    6. Add the fish pieces and sprinkle some curry leaves on top, then close it with a lid, and let it cook for 10 minutes or till the fish gets cooked.
    7. Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil on top and sprinkle ½ sprig curry leaves on top, then close it with a lid, and let it cook for a minute and switch off the flame. Let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes to bring out the full flavor.

Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry / Meen (fish) Vevichathu is ready to serve with Steamed rice or Tapioca (Kappa).


  1. If you are using cocum, soak it in warm water for 15 – 30 minutes before you start cooking – so that it will soak well. While adding the cocum in the curry, add the cocum pieces as well.
  2. Using cocum (kudampuli) is preferable which gives the curry a very tangy authentic taste. As I don’t have it with me right now, I’m using regular tamarind.
  3. It tastes much better if you store the curry for a day in the refrigerator, and then reheat it the next day before using it.
  4. Kashmiri red chili powder gives a medium spicy taste with rich red color. However, if you really want a hot spicy taste, then add extra 1 tsp of hot red chili powder.
  5. You can add coriander powder along with the red chili powder if you want the gravy to be thick. However, if you want to use the curry for up to 1 week, then don’t add coriander powder.
  6. Making this curry in a clay pot (earthen pot / kalchatti / manchatti) makes it taste more flavorful and delicious.
  7. You can make this curry with any fish of your choice.
  8. Using coconut oil will give it an authentic taste.

Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry / Meen (fish) Vevichathu

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