Perry Rylance

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Mangalore style mackerel curry

This was inspired by this Bangude Gravy udupi style recipe. I’m a huge fan of fish curry, with monkfish and basa being my usual go to fish for curry. I’ve been looking to branch out a bit and find fish which are strong in taste but don’t disintegrate when slow cooked in a sauce.

I’m near a town where fresh mackerel is plentiful so decided to give it a go, prepared but still on the bone. My first attempts with a coconut base weren’t really too great as the very fishy flavour overtakes the sauces I had tried, so I decided to change things a bit and go for a chilli, ginger and taramind sauce, I’m very happy indeed with the result. It’s got a lovely warm heat to it without being too much, and the taramind and spices are perfectly balanced against the fish.

Serves 2 – 3 people.

Mangalore style mackerel curry


  • 4tbsp walnut or groundnut oil
  • 2 prepared mackerels
  • 6 whole red chillies
  • 24 birds eye chillies
  • 1 small onion
  • 2in piece of ginger
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tube garlic puree (38g)
  • 1 tube chilli puree (75g)
  • 200ml taramind water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/3 tsp tumeric
  • 1/3 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt


  1. Finely chop the onion, garlic and red chillies.
  2. Grate the ginger.
  3. Slit each of the birds eye chillies on one side.
  4. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, and add the onion, garlic, red chillies and ginger.
  5. Stir often for 5 – 10 minutes on a medium heat.
  6. Add all the spices, whole and powdered, and stir in continuously for another 2 – 3 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and chilli puree, stir for 1 minute.
  8. Measure out 200ml of taramind water in a measuring jug, then add salt to taste.
  9. Transfer everything from the pan into the jug.
  10. Use a hand held food processor to blend the contents of the jug until smooth.
  11. Transfer the sauce back into the pan.
  12. Cut each of the mackerels into three pieces, then add them to the sauce and stir carefully to cover the pieces.
  13. Simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.

You should end up with a vivid orange sauce with tender mackerel pieces that easily come off the bone.