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Authentic Kerala Cuisine & much more…

Tomatillo Fish Curry

Posted by Annita on October 1, 2006

This is one typical Malayalee dish,which helped me to refresh my childhood memories.I’ve eaten it ,prepared by my grandmother long time back.Thanks to Surya of Healthy N Spicy,with her recipe I could recreate a taste,which I had almost forgot.This recipe actually calls for ‘Bimbool’ (In Malayalam,it is’Ilumbi puli’ or ‘Chemmen puli’),but as it is not available here in U.S,it is replaced with Tomatillo,which gives almost similar flavour as ‘Bimbool’.

Tomatillo Fish Curry
Tomatillo Fish Curry


You can see the photos of ‘Bimbool’ in MagicEye’s Photothing.

Here goes the recipe..


Fish cut into small pieces – 1/4 kg
Sliced Tomatillo – 2 medium sized
Sliced Shallots/Pearl Onions – 4
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Salt – to taste
Oil – as needed

For Grinding :-
Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
Curry leaves – a few

For seasoning:-
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Chopped Shallots – 2
Curry leaves – a few
Whole red chillies – 2


Mix chilly powder,coriander powder and turmeric powder together ,adding little water to make a paste.Keep it aside.Grind coconut and few curry leaves together,to a smooth paste adding necessary water and reserve it too.
Heat oil in a pan,add sliced shallots and ginger-garlic paste,fry in low flame for few seconds.Add the prepared masala paste and saute for a while.Now add fish pieces,tomatillo pieces,ground coconut and salt.Increase the heat,add water to cover the fish pieces and allow it to boil.Once the water is boiled,simmer it again and allow the fish pieces to cook well and till gravy becomes a little thick.Switch off the heat.
Heat oil in another pan,pop the mustard seeds,add shallots,red chillies and curry leaves and fry it till brown.Pour the seasoning to the curry.Mix it well and allow it to rest for sometime.Serve hot with rice.


13 Responses to “Tomatillo Fish Curry”

  1. Archana said

    I havn’t had ilumban puli fish curry for a long long time. Will buy some tomatillos to try this. I am trying not to look into that photo for too long,it looks so tempting, i might try to scoop it out of the moniter. Thank you for the recipe

  2. RP said

    Chemmeenpuli!!! I am so happy that you posted this Annita. My grandma’s house had a chemmeeppuli tree and I grew up on it! Granma makes uppilitta chemmeepuli and pickles. She also add it to fish curries and some other coconut based curries as the sour ingredient. I remember taking some salt on my hand and going to the tree to snack on some chemmeepulis. Yummmm…..Ohhh the memories…… Wish I could go back to my childhood. :(

  3. Rashmi said

    Will this taste similar to Fish with Mango curry?.I like that taste.So can try this recipe if the tastes are like.

    Yeah..somewhat similar,Rashmi.But tomatillos give a more tangy taste.

  4. Asha said

    Looks soo delicious!! Although I donot eat fish, I could use the same masala with chicken!! Nice!! Thanks!

    Yeah..may be u could try that.Pls let me also know how it turned out with chicken..

  5. shaheen said

    Annita, I made a similar curry last week with mussels and tomatillos. u are right, it reminds me of the ilumbi puli taste.thanks for introducing me to tomatillos.:)

    Thanks Shaheen

  6. Arul said

    Hi Annita,
    Ur dish is looooks so cooool…where can get the tomatillos and heavy cream..

    where do u stay,Arul?If you are in U.S,its available in all grocery stores.Tomatillos in veggie section and heavy cream in diary section near milk.

  7. Divya said

    Hi Annita,
    your recipes are always good. what fish can I use for this?

    You can use any fish you like,I’ve used King Fish only.

  8. Daagh said

    very nice and simple recipe :-)

    Thanks Daag.


  9. InjiPennu said

    Oh, I didnt know tomatillos were that sour..should try next time.. thanks a lot!

    Thanks Inji.And is there anything wrong with your blog.I’m not able to view it.


  10. Geena said

    This is a new info to me. we too had this tree but never cooked anything with its fruit. Mainly we kids pick the fruit and eat it plain. Tomatillo also is new to me. One more to the must try list!

    Thanks Geena..i’m sure you’ll love the dish..try this out sometime

  11. Ever tried to get the curry patented ?

  12. K.J.Sibichan said

    Thanks. Ever tried patenting the curry ?

  13. K.J.Sibichan said


    Sibichan, Delhi

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