Mangalore masala fish

I bought one pomfret hoping to make the ‘masala fish’ that we got in “Curry House”, Bangalore. Unfortunately, when I serached on the google, I could not get the exact recipe for it. But I knew how it should taste and I got one recipe which looked more or less like the one I was searching for. When I prepared it, it was quite different from the one I was searching for, but the taste of it was superb. So here is the recipe.

Pomfret 1
Dry roasted coconut 2 tea spn
Lemon juice 1 tbl spn
Onions 1/2 cup
Red chillies 10
Garlic 3
Ginger 1″ piece
Cinnamon(dalchini) 1″ piece
Cloves 3
Vinegar 1 tea spn
Banana leaves or foil (to wrap)
Oil 1 tea spn

In the picture, I reduced the amount of red chillies to make it less spicy. I liked the thick coating of the masala on fish, this can be reduced if you wish to have a thin masala layer.

Clean the fish. Make 2-3 slits in the fish with a sharp knife. Rub lemon juice and salt on the fish and keep it aside for 1hr.

Heat oil and fry finely chopped onions till slightly brownish. Take out one tea spn of onions and keep aside to be used later in the dish. Add coconut to remaining onions and fry for 4-5mins. Grind it with ginger-garlic, cinnamon, chillies, cloves, vinegar and salt without adding water.
Add the onions (preserved earlier) to the masala. Rub the masala on the fish to make a thick/thin coating. Wrap it in banana leaf or foil.

Preheat the over to 400F. Bake the fish for 25-30min. Open the oven after every 10mins and turn the fish.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 45min

46 thoughts on “Mangalore masala fish”

  1. Sounds yummy ! We make this too & call it ‘Bharli Paaplet’ the masalas are quite different though…no vinegar etc. This is one of my faves. Well done !

  2. Hi Sonali, I found more than one recipe while searching for this. But I used this one because it said “Mangalore masala fish”.
    Thanks for the comment

  3. Pingback: Monica Gi Chakhum

  4. i tried this recipe , it came so taste…….my husband liked it n said i learned cooking……..Thankyou Sonali…………………………thanku very much

  5. Savitha, Ishwan is called “King fish” in English. The fresh King fish is available in Cinese stores. Basically you have to pick up by its looks, it is called by a different name in those stores. I will see if I can post some pictures of this fish in future.

  6. Thanks Shilpa.
    I was also looking for recipe of a sweet dish.
    Its made of rice flour, rava, coconut and jaggery.
    I think the name sounded ‘Yerappa’. If you or anyone else recognise this sweet dish, please post the recipe.

  7. Thanks Shilpa. This is delicious & so are the other recipes on your site ! Your page is extremely informative esp. regarding the “amchigele recipies”. And I love the pictures you post for every recipe( the procedure to clean crabs posted earlier was awesome). Excellent work..keep it up.

  8. Narasimha Baliga

    There is another way to make Manglorean Masala Fry…

    Take one tomato and about 5 red chillis and grind them in to a paste in a mixi. Add salt to this paste.

    In a tawa, drop 4 spoons of coconut oil and drop the fish in to it. Add the paste to this fish and fry it over a slow flame until the fish is cooked properly.

    Very simple, indeed.

  9. Hello,
    Thanks I was searching similar type recipe as it was my wife’s dream to cook the pomfret this way in oven with full of masala. I bought a big pomfret and cooked as you said. It was undoubtedly wonderful taste. Keep posting the reciepes. Your efforts are really appreciated

  10. Dear, I am i Pune and very much glad to know your different recipes, please can you esnd me how to go about chiken gassi



  11. Hi Shilpa,

    It really sounds yummy, i was searching a recipe making fish in mangalore style and this one is just the right one. thanks a lot for this recipe.


  12. I am also sure that u will know tha recipe for another way of making seer fish masala fry with a lil gravy of tomato, onion and other masalas. If u do please share it with us. i will really love that.

  13. Shilpa,

    Please let me know where the curry house is in Bangalore. I am being sent to Bangalore for a project and would love to visit the place.

    Thanks in advance.


  14. The one I remember (40 yrs!) was based on one of our basic bases: In the rugda, grind about 1/2 grated coconut and (phhordne?) seasonings frizzled in oil and quickly popped into the coconut for grinding. I believe the fish used red chillies/black mustard seeds/curry leaf. The raw pomfret steaks were first rested in turmeric/red chili powder and then cooked in the coconut sauces, with water, to form a medium thick sauce, pink in colour, and moist cooked fish. Prawns, also, were first rested (1/2 – 1 hr) in turmeric/chili powder, and then cooked in grated coconut ground in the rugdah with fried coconut, deeply browned onion, a knob of peeled ginger, clove, cinnamon, and garlic.

    I hope other’s remember, too.

    I am so grateful to you for this blog, all of the memories, all of the recipes – perhaps you can imagine how my heart has ached all of these years and then, as the magic of the internet has slowly come up to this level, I can feel all that I thought I had forgotten coming back to me to share with my husband. Thank you, thank you!

  15. Hi Shilpa..
    I have been visiting ur site for quite sometime now and used a few recipes….would like to thank you for all of them and this one especially is a favourite….me being a mangalorean and a fish food lover myself…. Thanks a ton !!!!

  16. hey shilpa,

    the recipe looks good, though u hv mentioned about red
    chillies in the first instance, you forgot to mention to grind with other ingredients in “method” part… or u have to add chillie powder?…

    Shilpa: Thanks for pointing out. I have updated the method.

  17. Hey Shilpa,

    ur site is full of goodies n this one looks absolutely mindblowing ….. m also an amchigele n wow gurl the recipes u hv put on ur site r fantastic …. thanx for sharing the wonderful recipes

    i do not have an oven at home so can u pls let me know how do i cook this in a microwave …. thanks a ton:)

    Shilpa: You can bake it in microwave too, exact same way

  18. Thanks so much Shilpa …. since the temperature control is not per oven …. should keep it on high low at what temp n for how long …. sorry to b bothering u but the pomfret looks so tempting that m determined to try it 🙂

    Shilpa: I have no idea. you have to do some trial and error.

  19. hi,

    its me again …. here dry coconut is not available so can i use dessicated coconut or can i fry frozen coconut …. which would b better …. thanks in advance

    Shilpa: You can use dessicated coconut.

  20. Hey Shilpa,

    Thanks so much ….. i did try this out in the microwave …. kept it on medium high n turned for 1o minutes approc 4 times ….. but still the masal remained soggy so then i just put some rice flour on it n put it on the tava …… it tasted great ….. hubby’s friends absolutely loved the taste of fish with coconut …… thanks again for the wonderful recipe …

    p.s.: i think m going to invest in an oven soon 🙂 coz of ur recipes

  21. i tried it and it was so delicious. The reason why i tried is, ingdients itself mouth watering. Thank you so much for your recipe. It was the first time i feel that iam eating mom made curry.

  22. hi shilpa read ur recipe seems yummy i’m definetly going to try, but i have query give me the alternate way of cooking instead of oven and can we prepare in Microwave.

  23. Thank you so much for the DELICIOUS recipe… it turned out to be absolutely delish!! Will definitely try it again! 🙂

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