Nellore Chepala Pulusu is a non vegetarian delicacy from Nellore, a coastal town in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Chepala Pulusu means fish curry in tamarind sauce. After numerous misadventures with fish, this is the one that I was satisfied with. I came across this recipe during one of my diligent searches 🙂 for a fish curry recipe.
Nellore Chepala Pulusu is usually made using seer fish but I used catfish (you can use other fish varieties as well). As the name suggests, this curry tastes tangy because of the tamarind and goes excellent with rice. We had Achari fish as the side dish, which is another dish that tastes equally awesome (you can find the recipe for Achari fish here). Also, mango is added as one of the ingredients but the recipe that I have given below does not include it.
Do try this tangy and tasty fish curry in your kitchen and let me know your thoughts.
Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic and stir it occasionally.
Meanwhile puree the tomatoes and keep it ready.
When the garlic turns brown, add in chopped onions and sauté well. Add curry leaves and cook until the onions turn translucent.
Add in the tomato puree.
While the gravy is getting cooked, make the Nellore koora powder as given below.
Heat a small flat pan and add fenugreek seeds. Dry roast until they turn golden brown and remove it from the pan. Next add mustard seeds and dry roast them separately. When they start to crackle, remove it from the pan. Next add cumin seeds and toss them for few seconds until the nice aroma spreads. When cumin seeds seeds are well roasted, remove it from the pan. Allow them to cool and grind to a fine powder.
When the tomato gravy is well cooked add enough water and tamarind paste and allow them to boil.
Add all the powders and mix well. Add the slit green chilli and give it a stir. Cover and simmer the gravy until the raw smell disappears. It takes around a couple of minutes.
Now add the fish to the gravy. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
Finally add the ground powder and enough salt to the gravy, mix well and cook for another couple of minutes. By now the gravy would have released oil on the sides. Sprinkle loosely crushed fresh curry leaves lavishly and switch off the flame.
It tastes excellent with steamed white rice.
Do not roast the ingredients too much otherwise the entire dish will be spoiled as they give bitter taste when roasted too much. Always to make the Nellore chaapala pulusu powder make the ratio as 1:2:3.
Try to make this powder just before adding to the gravy and so the fresh flavor retains.