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Karuvadu thokku | Dry fish recipe

Karuvadu thokku is a semi-dry curry recipe prepared with fleshy dry fish and spices.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 280 kcal


  • 100 g dry fish karuvadu
  • 2 tbsp gingelly oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 big onions
  • 6 garlic pods
  • Few curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup water



  • Wash the dry fish pieces under running water.
  • Soak them in hot water for 30mins. Soaking in hot water will make the hard dry fish pieces soft to handle. In addition to that, the excess salt would be removed from the karuvadu/dry fish with hot water soaking.
  • After 30 minutes, when the pieces are soft enough to cut, chop into small pieces.
  • Chop onions and tomatoes.

Recipe to make karuvadu thokku:

  • Heat gingelly oil in a pan, season with mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Let them splutter and add the chopped onions.
  • Also, add finely chopped garlic and saute with onions.
  • Add a handful of curry leaves and green chilli.
  • Saute the onions until they become light brown in color.
  • Now add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and mushy. You can cover with a lid and cook for five minutes.
  • Pour a cup of water to cook the masala.
  • Put the chopped dry fish pieces and mix well.
  • Like fish, dry fish also takes only a less time to get cooked.
  • Keep the stove in medium flame, cover and cook the karuvadu for around 8-10 minutes.
  • Pour some more water in between only if required to cook the dry fish & to get the thokku consistency. It should be thick like the pickle.
  • Switch off and serve with hot rice or store.


Tips: 1) Always use a boneless dry fish variety for this recipe and chop them as small as possible. 2) Next cook the onions and tomatoes well and full to mushy texture before adding dry fish. 3) Finally, mind the quantity of salt you add to the masala. As the dry fish naturally is salted, the thokku doesn't require much of salt.


Calories: 280kcal
Keyword Dry fish masala, Dry fish recipe, How to make Dry fish recipe, How to make Karuvadu thokku, Karuvadu fry, Karuvadu thokku, Karuvattu thokku
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