Spicy Chettinad Fish Fry Recipe

Spicy Chettinad Fish Fry, a delicious recipe from South Indian cuisine that you can serve as a side dish with your meals or just as a starter.

Raksha Kamat
Spicy Chettinad Fish Fry Recipe
6818 ratings.

Spicy Chettinad Fish Fry Recipe is a delicious and spicy preparation of fish made in the Chettinad region of South India. Chettinad cuisine is known for spicy food which is made using freshly ground masalas.

You can use any type of firm fleshed fish to make this recipe. I used surmai/seerfish. Serve Chettinad Fish Fry Recipe with Steamed Rice and Chettinad Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu to make it a complete meal.

Did you know: Fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which promote heart health. They are also rich in proteins and promotes eye and brain health. Eating fish regularly lowers blood pressure and increases good cholesterol levels when eaten in moderate quantity.

Have a sneak-peek at the other popular recipes from Chettinad Cuisine here:

  1. Chettinad Pepper Chicken Dry Recipe
  2. Kaigari Pirattal Recipe (Chettinad Style Mixed Vegetables)
  3. Chettinad Mutton Chops Kozhumbhu (Mutton Chops Curry) Recipe
  4. Chettinad Style Pepper Mushroom Recipe

Prep in

15 M

Cooks in

45 M

Total in

60 M


4 Servings


  • 4 Seer fish , steaks, finely sliced
  • Oil , to fry
  • Ingredients For The Chettinad Masala
  • 1 Tomato , chopped
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 30 grams Tamarind , soaked in 1-2 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu)
  • 8 cloves Garlic , chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander (Dhania) Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds (Saunf)
  • 10 Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • Salt , to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Oil , adjustable
  • To Garnish
  • 2 Lemon wedges

How to make Spicy Chettinad Fish Fry Recipe

  1. To begin making the Chettinad Fish Fry Recipe, wash the seer fish steaks and keep it aside.

  2. Heat a Tadka pan and dry roast curry leaves, garlic and the spices till a nice aroma is released.

  3. After the spices cool down, using a Mortar and Pestle to grind these spices by adding a little oil.

  4. Now add tomato and tamarind along with its soaked water, the ground spices, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt to a Mixer.

  5. Grind it into a thick paste. The paste will be dark brown in colour.

  6. Check salt, adjust and mix well.

  7. Smear every seer fish steak with this spicy paste on both sides. Be generous while smearing the paste. Let it be thick to achieve the spicy Chettinad effect.

  8. Marinate these steaks for at least 20 minutes.

  9. After 20 minutes, heat a Non-stick pan for shallow frying.

  10. Add adequate oil for shallow frying and place the fish steaks on the pan.

  11. After 5 minutes, carefully flip the fish to the other side on the pan.

  12. Continue to fry till the fish gets cooked and crisp. The fish will appear flaky when it’s cooked.

  13. Garnish Spicy Chettinad Fish Fry Recipe with lime juice, garnish with lemon wedges and serve hot.

  14. Serve Chettinad Fish Fry Recipe along with Steamed Rice and Chettinad Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu to make it a complete meal.