Kerala Fried Fish – A Tribute to Tes


Kerala Fried Fish

Other than canned tuna, I simply don’t eat enough fish in my diet so I was happy to see this recipe for Kerala Fried Fish which is made in the Indian style of preparing a spice blend and working with that. Once the blend is made, it will hold in the refrigerator for a few days so it can be made ahead of time. Then, to season the fish and fry it is a minimum of twenty minutes although the fish could also be seasoned ahead of time so that would cut the preparation to a five minute frying time.

This recipe comes from Tes who is a very busy person, with a husband and two year old son. She also has a consulting business, is working on couple of books and is a faithful blogger about food and family. While she lives in Thailand, I wouldn’t classify her as an exclusive Thai cook because there are other global influences including American and Indian. Her recipes are full flavored and mostly quick to cook as would be expected from a busy person.

For some reason I did not find this recipe to be as spicy as it sounds and would classify as full flavored and pleasant. For my on taste, I will actually up the amount of hot peeper that I used although normally, a thin slice of scotch bonnet is more than enough for my meal.

I made my spice blend in a blender so I had to add a tablespoon of olive oil to the blender to get it started and blended the softest ingredients first.


1 T olive oil

5 cloves garlic rough cut

5 shallots pealed, clean and rough cut

1 inch ginger rough cut

1 thin slice scotch bonnet hot pepper (1/8 inch thick)

1 ½ tsp salt

2 tsp chili powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp cumin powder

3 pieces king fish, about 1 pound (454 gms.)


  1. Place olive oil in blender and garlic and puree on lowest setting
  2. Add shallots and hot pepper and repeat above.
  3. Add rough cut ginger and puree again.
  4. Add the rest of the spices and blend on low until uniform.

    Uniform Spice Blend

  5. Coat both sides with a thick coating of the spice blend and work into the flesh. Let sit for 15 minutes.

    Coat both sides with a thick coating of the spice blend

  6. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side for a one inch thick cut so it is still moist.
  7. Serve with side dish.

I loved this concept but can think of several minor changes. First, Chili powder has silicone dioxide (sand) in it so I prefer to blend my own. Also shallots are very expensive locally and rarely available so I will try an onion. Finally, as I write this the cilantro in my refrigerator is screaming out at me and begging to be included.

The joy of continued creation will help me live longer and enjoy another day. If it turns out well you will read about it here. If not, I will forget I ever mentioned a change in Tes’s recipe. Obviously this is a Tribute to Tes and her work at

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2 Responses to “Kerala Fried Fish – A Tribute to Tes”

  1. Monica Says:

    nom nom nom, looks yum. will def be trying out this recipe.

  2. Poppa John Says:

    People in the Southern US would call this spice blend a rub for one very good reason. If you rub it into the meat and let it sit for a couple of hours, you really enhance the flavors.

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