How to make this unique Vegetarian Fish Curry

Vegetarian Fish Curry, You must be little surprised after hearing this name. But yes this Recipe is purely Vegetarian. It is a traditional and authentic Vegetarian Fish Curry prepared from ground cow peas (Also known as Lobia in North India) masala paste, which is steamed and fried, and cooked in tamarind based curry. This curry is also called as Chettinad Saiva Meen Kuzhambu in South. The whole process of making this dish may seem complicated, but it is simple.

This Dish is simple and takes little time but tastes awesome. Soak the beans overnight and ground it to coarse paste along with few mentioned ingredients. You need to steam the paste and deep fry them.

Lets check the recipe now,


  • To Prepare Vegetarian Fish :
  • 1 cup Cow Peas / Lobia/ Black eyed Pea– soaked overnight
  • 5 garlic flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds / saunf
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • salt as per taste
  • To Prepare Curry :
  • 2 Medium Size Onions – Chopped
  • 1 chopped Tomatao
  • 10-15 garlic flakes
  • 1/4 cup Tamarind – soaked in 2-3 cup water for 30 mins
  • 1/4 cup ground coconut paste – optional
  • 2-3 green chilies -slit at the end
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp sambar powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds / saunf
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi dhana
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 stick curry leaves

Method of Cooking

To Prepare Vegetarian Fish :

  • Soak cow peas overnight in enough water. Next day, drain the water completely and grind it in a mixer along with garlic flakes, fennel seeds, chili powder and salt to coarse paste. Don’t add water while grinding.
  • Take a banana leaf and cut it into rectangular shapes. Spread the thick masala paste on it and fold the leaf.
  • Steam it in a idli cooker or steamer for 10-15 mins till the paste gets cooked. Let it cool down completely. Remove the leaves carefully and cut them into like fish pieces or you can also make a patty instead of this shape.
  • Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. Fry those pieces till it turns golden brown on all the sides. Remove them and drain the excess oil using absorbent tissue paper. Keep the fried vegetarian fish aside.

To Prepare Curry :

  • Soak tamarind in 2-3 cups water for 30 mins. Later, squeeze the pulp and extract water. Strain the water and keep it aside.
  • Heat 1-2 tbsp any vegetable oil in a pan or kadhai. Tamper mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add onions, green chilies and garlic flakes. Cook for a min on low-medium flame. Add chopped tomato and mash the pulp.
  • Add tamarind water, turmeric powder, sambar powder and coriander powder. Stir well and add salt to taste. Let it cook for 3-5 mins on low-medium flame. Add more water in needed.
  • Later switch to low flame and cook for 15 mins till the oil separates from curry. After 15 mins, add ground coconut paste if you are using. Let it cook for another 10 mins till curry becomes thick. Adjust the salt and spice accordingly.
  • Add fried vegetarian fish pieces and let it cook for another 5 mins on low flame. And then turn off the flame.

Your Vegetarian Fish Curry is ready to serve with Paratha/ Roti/ Rice…

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