Karimeen (Pearlspot) Fry

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Any seafood lover visiting Kerala would be having some Karimeen dish in their must-have list. Karimeen, also known as Pearl spot is one of the most popular fish in Kerala. Being the kind of person who doesn’t spare even the bones of the fish, I always find eating Karimeen a bit challenging. One has to be careful of the strong and sharp bones. However, the taste of the fish makes up for all the hard work.
Recently while deciding on what to buy, I spotted Karimeen. It had been while since I had bought them. As D isn’t much of a fish lover, I was a bit hesitant,but ultimately gave in to my craving 🙂 I had already made up my mind of what to make. Karimeen Varuthathu or Karimeen Fry. As we get the fish cleaned from the vendor, the time and effort to make the dish has reduced considerably.
Ideally the fish should be marinated for at least 30 minutes. The longer you marinate, the tastier the fish would be. The time taken to cook the fish varies according to the size. Some people like to fry the fish till it is crispy, while some prefer lightly fried ones. I prefer somewhere in between, not too crispy and not too soft. This time when D had the fish, he loved it. Separating the flesh from the bones was the biggest obstacle for him. It was nice to see him devouring the fish.

Recipe Video

Karimeen (Pearlspot) Fry

Any seafood lover visiting Kerala would be having some Karimeen dish in their must-have list. Here's how you can prepare yummy Karimeen Fry.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 52 mins
Servings 2


  • 2 Medium size Pearlspot/Karimeen
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 teaspoons Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar
  • to taste Salt
  • as required Water


  • Score the fish on both sides and keep aside
  • In a bowl, mix the ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and vinegar with enough water to form a smooth paste.
  • Apply on either side of the fish, making sure to fill in the gashes.
  • Cover and keep aside for at least 30 minutes. The more you keep, the better
  • Heat a pan on medium-low
  • Add 4 tablespoons (or more) oil.
  • Add a few curry leaves. This is to keep the fish from sticking to the pan
  • Place the fish
  • Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes or till you get the desired crunch
  • Flip the fish
  • Continue cooking till the other side is also done.
  • Remove from the pan and serve hot.

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