Meen varuthathu – kerala fish fry, this is a very simple recipe and a delicious appetizer or starter for house parties. Coated the fish pieces with few spices and shallow fried in coconut oil with curry leaves. The fish I have used is neimeen/ vanjaram/ king mackerel for shallow frying.

Indo-pacific king mackerel or commonly known as Seer fish. In Tamilnadu seer fish is called ‘Vanjaram’ and in Kerala it is called ‘Neymeen’. In some places it is also known as’ king mackerels’. They are a delicacy in South India and costliest variety available. It is most famous and common form of fish fry.


  • Neimeen/vanjaram 1/2 kg
  • Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder 2 tbsp
  • Chilli powder 1-2 tbsp
  • Fennel powder 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut oil 2 tbsp + 2-3 tbsp
  • Lemon 1
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves handful


Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, salt, 2 tbsp coconut oil, coriander powder, pepper powder, chilli powder and juice of one lemon in a bowl. Mix it well.

Wash the fish with vinegar/lemon juice and salt and pat dry.

Apply the paste on the fish pieces. Nicely rub the masala on both sides of the fish.

Marinate for 4-5 hours or overnight.

Heat an iron tawa/pan on medium heat till it is hot, add coconut oil and bring the heat to low.

Add the marinated fish pieces and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes. I have cooked the fish pieces in two batches.

Flip each piece and add curry leaves and cook for 10 to 12 minutes on low heat.

Serve hot as an appetizer/starter or as a side dish with rice.

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