RECIPE : Chepala Pulusu

Recipe for fish curry (AKA Chepala Pulusu in Telugu). Credit goes to my Athayya (mother-in-law). Lakshmi and I learnt a lot of new dishes during her brief visit to Chicago.


  • Cat Fish : 3Lbs
  • Onions : 3 (large)
  • Thai Chill : 6
  • Tamarind : 10 gms (or use 2 table spoon of tamarind paste) : 6i
  • Ginger Garlic Paste : 3 table spoons
  • (sambar) Chili Powder : 3 table spoons
  • Curry Leaves : 5
  • Cumin Seeds : 1 tea spoon
  • Mustard Seeds : 2 tea spoons
  • Turmeric : 1 tea spoon


  • Skin the cat fish, cut out the fins and tail.
  • Cut the fish into medium size pieces and wash with turmeric and salt (this takes out the fishy smell).
  • Pour 5 table spoons of oil in a broad pan and let it heat for ~2 minutes.
  • Add mustard and cumin seeds and let them sizzle for ~30 seconds (this is known as thalimpu in Telugu).
  • Add curry leaves and let them sizzle for ~20 seconds.
  • Add the chillies and onions and fry them.
  • Add 1 table spoon of salt to soften the onions.
  • Add turmeric powder.
  • When onions start to brown, add the tamarind water.
  • Add the chili powder and let the contents simmer for a few minutes.
  • Lay the fish pieces on the mixture evenly (after this point, don’t move the fish pieces since they can fall apart).
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let the contents boil for 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot with white rice and enjoy :).