Indulge in the zest of Andhra with Chepala Pulusu, a fiery and tangy fish curry adored in Nellore. Made with fresh fish, rich spices, and sesame oil, this traditional dish offers a unique taste that's a delight for seafood enthusiasts.
Enjoy this staple of Andhra and Telangana cuisine, featuring fish simmered in a robust tamarind gravy, alongside rice, appam, dosa, or roti. Experience the signature flavors of Andhra's famous fish curry, right from the comfort of your home.
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How to make Chepala Pulusu?
Prepare Chepala Pulusu effortlessly with our two-step guide: first, create the Pulusu Paste, then cook the curry. Below, you'll find an easy-to-follow guide with step-by-step images and a helpful video to guide you through the process. Enjoy your cooking journey!
Chepala Pulusu (Andhra Fish Curry)
- 8 slice Fish, tilapia
- 0.55 lb Pearl Onion, sliced
- 1 Tomato, chopped
- 3 Green Chili, chopped
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- ¼ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- 1 sprig Curry Leaves
- 1½ tsp Chili Powder
- 3 tsp Coriander Powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- Salt, as needed
- ¼ cup Oil, sesame
- ¼ cup Tamarind Juice, diluted from 1 tsp Tamarind paste or 2 tsp Tamarind Sauce
- 2 cups Water
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- ¼ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- 2 tsp Poppy Seeds
- ½ tsp Peppercorn
Fish Pulusu Paste Preparation
- Heat a pan on medium and sauté mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds, poppy seeds, and peppercorns until aromatic.
- Blend with ¼ cup water to create a smooth paste. Set this paste aside for later.
To Prepare Fish Pulusu
- Start by heating oil in a pan over medium heat, then add mustard seeds, fenugreek, and cumin seeds, letting them pop.
- Next, add chopped onions, green chili, and curry leaves, sautéing until the onions soften.
- Introduce ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell vanishes and it becomes aromatic.
- Follow with diced tomatoes, continuing to cook until they breakdown and turn mushy
- Sprinkle in the chili, turmeric, and coriander powders along with salt, stirring to combine them well.
- Pour in water and introduce the previously prepared masala paste, stirring to integrate everything.
- Bring this mixture to a gentle boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
- Carefully lay the fish pieces into the simmering gravy, ensuring they are evenly distributed.
- Close the pan with a lid and cook the fish for another 5 minutes, allowing it to absorb the spices.
- Uncover and add tamarind water or paste, folding it in gently to avoid breaking the fish.
- Lower the heat and simmer the curry until oil surfaces along the edges, indicating your Andhra Fish Curry is ready to be served.
- Serve this rich and tangy Chepala/Fish Pulusu with your choice of hot white rice, appam, parotta, or idiyappam for a complete meal.
Chef's Notes and Tips
Choosing the Right Fish:
- Freshwater Favorites: Opt for freshwater fish such as Tilapia, Catfish, Trout, Indian Seer fish, Butterfish, or Milkfish for authentic flavor. Tilapia is a great choice, as used in this specific recipe.
- Bone-In Benefits: While bone-in fish are traditional and infuse the curry with extra flavor, boneless varieties can also be used for convenience and varied texture.
Perfecting Chepala Pulusu:
- Precision with Spices: Ensure to use the exact amounts of mustard and fenugreek seeds as specified in the recipe to prevent bitterness.
- Careful Roasting: Roast the masala ingredients on medium heat to avoid burning, ensuring the curry develops its full flavor. This is a crucial step for the best results.
- Sesame Oil Authenticity: For the authentic taste and flavor, use sesame oil as recommended in the preparation of the dish.
- Customize the Heat: Adjust the spiciness to suit your family's taste; the curry can be made milder without losing its authenticity.
- Patience Pays Off: The flavor of the fish pulusu intensifies and improves after 4 to 5 hours, and it's even more delicious the next day.
Chepala Pulusu Variations:
- Tangy Tamarind Leaves: For a tangy Chepala Pulusu, use tender tamarind leaves in place of tamarind water in the Chintha Chiguru version.
- Coconut for Creaminess: To add a creamy texture to your fish curry, try using coconut instead of poppy seeds when preparing the masala.
- Mango for Zest: Introduce raw mango pieces to your Chepala Pulusu for a zesty flavor punch.
- Regional Delights: Expand your palate by trying out regional variations like Rayalaseema, Rajahmundry, and Bhimavaram fish curries to experience their unique flavors.
Disclaimer: We’re not nutrition experts. Nutritional info is estimated and should be used as a guide. For precise details, consult a professional.
- Classic Pair: Serve with hot white rice for a comforting meal.
- Seafood Platter: Create a feast with Fish Pulusu, and Indian Fish Fry alongside white rice.
- With Flatbreads: Complements Appam, Roti, Idiyappam, and Parotta beautifully.
- Extra Special: Pair with Meen Pollichathu for an indulgent experience.
- Freshly Served Warmth: Enjoy your fish pulusu warm for immediate satisfaction.
- Flavor Intensification: Let it sit for 4 to 5 hours at room temperature to deepen the flavors.
- Room Temperature Storage: It remains good for 2 days; the flavor enhances with time.
- Refrigeration: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge to savor for up to 4 days.