Meen Thala Varattiyadh/ Malabar King Fish Head Curry

 Meen Thala Varattiyadh/ Malabar King Fish Head Curry 

A very common fish curry that we malabaris (people living in the Malabar coastal region) make on a daily basis is this Meen Varattiyadh. Fish pieces are simmered in a spicy tomato based gravy that is then given an extra sourness by adding Tamrind water that gives it its special flavors. Some very basic ingredients found in a coastal malabar kitchen turned into a finger licking good curry that is usually accompanied with puttu (Steamed Rice cake), ari dosa (rice crepe), thenga pathal (rice and coconut pancake) etc. 

The same curry is prepared in various forms, it's like biryani, each house has their own varrattiye/ molotta recipe. I make this way and also prepare by sautéing each ingredient (depends on my mood ;)). In our place, we specifically call it molotta AKA mulagu ittadhu. I love King fish/ ayakoora molotta and also the head part of it, that has tender meat and the bones can be chewed too, which is upto you.

Have the curry warm and it always tastes the best the next day.

Ingredients :

  • 700 gms King Fish Head/ King Fish chunks or slices
  • 2-3 Medium Tomato, chopped roughly
  • Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Rock salt
  • 2 cloves Gralic, pounded
  • 1 small piece Ginger, pounded
  • 5 tsps Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • Green Chillies, optional
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Tamarind, smaller than lemon sized ball soaked in hot water


  • Coconut oil
  • Mustard seeds Curry leaves
  • Fenugreek seeds/ Fenugreek powder, optional


  1. Roughly chop tomatoes, and add curry leaves, rock salt and squeeze well with clean hands.
  2. Add slightly ponded ginger and garlic, and the spice powders, and mix well.
  3. Add water as required and allow to come to a boil. 
  4. Next add tamarind water, and check and add according to taste. Check for salt.

  5. Add cleaned king fish head pieces to the gravy and cover and cook for no more than 10 minutes, this will make the fish meat hard.

  6. Temper mustard seeds, Fenugreek seeds (optional),and curry leaves in coconut oil and add to the curry.
  7. Enjoy hot with your choice of roti/ rice. Preferably malabari rotis. Tastes best the next day. 

Ps: You can use any fish of your choice manthal, prawns, ney meen/ ayakoora, sardines etc being my favorites 



Do try this recipe and don't forget to share your experience/feedback with me here in the comments or feel free to send me a mail. Also, do tag me at #taystedit if you try out my recipes on Facebook, Instagram etc so that I can see when you make it. ♡♡♡♡

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