Naadan Ayala Curry (Mackerel Fish Curry, Kerala Style)

Mackerel is a healthy and tasty Fish. It gives us lots of health benefits such as omega 3 and some vitamin E so add these kind of fish in your daily diet and please encourage your little ones to eat this kind of fish because I believe that childhood attitude will remain with you for the rest of your life. I remember my father’s great Malayalam proverb here “ചുട്ടയിലെ ശീലം ചുടല വരെ.” 🙂
Naadan Ayila Curry (Mackerel Fish Curry) is a keralites favourite and an unavoidable dish. Normally I cook these kinds of naadan recipes in “മണ്‍ ചട്ടി ” (Traditional kerala clay pot). I already owned one clay pot from my mom’s collections on our last Kerala trip and also I remember my mom’s comment “ ഓ! ഈ മണ്‍ ചട്ടിടെ ഒരു ഭാഗ്യം, വിമാനത്തിൽ കേറി സിംഗപ്പുർ പോകുവല്ലേ ! ” 🙂 yeah! Thanks mom, it’s still gives me an awesome taste and texture.
I normally prepare Naadan Ayila curry hot and spicy with kudam pulli/fish tamarind/malabar tamirand (Gambooge) and serve with kappa. Oh God! I am madly in love with that combination! I am sure, you guys also like this recipe and try with kappa 🙂 Here is the spicy yummy recipe…

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Recipe Type Side Dish/Spicy
Cooking and Preparation Time 30 to 45 Minutes
Serve to 3 to 4

Ingredients for Naadan Ayala Curry

Ingredient Quantity Notes
Mackerel Fish/ Ayala (Medium Size) 500 Gram Cleaned and cut into medium size with or without head.
Kudampulli (gamboge) 4 pieces Clean and soak in ¼ cup water
Coconut Oil 2 Tablespoon You can use any oil but coconut oil gives you a special taste and aroma.
Ginger 1 inch Piece Chopped Finely
Garlic 4 Cloves Chopped Finely
Shallots/Small Onion 4 to 5 Chopped Finely
Green Chilly 2 Slit length wise
Curry Leaves Few
Chilly Powder 3 Tablespoon Adjust as per Your Taste
Coriander Powder 1 Tablespoon
Turmeric Powder 1/2 Teaspoon
Fenugreek Powder 1/4 Teaspoon
Black Pepper Powder 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt As per Your Taste
Water As Per Your Taste.

Method For Naadan Ayala Curry

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1. Mix all the spices in one tablespoon water and make a paste form. Keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan or clay pot. Add chopped ginger, garlic, small onion, green chilly and some curry leaves. Fry well.
3. When its golden brown, add spice paste and roast until its raw smell goes away.
4. Add water and salt as per your taste. Add soaked kudam pulli (Gamboge) with water, mix well and allow it to boil.
5. When its boiled well, add fish pieces one by one (make sure the pieces are dip in the gravy). Cover and cook it for 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Uncover the pan, taste curry and add salt if required. Don’t stir the curry with spoon. It will break up the fish pieces so just take the pan and rotate slowly.
7. When the gravy slightly thickens, turn off the heat sprinkle some coconut oil and garnish with fresh curry leaves.
8. Serve hot or cool with Kappa or boiled rice. Enjoy!

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Here I prepared Ayala/Mackerel Curry in a watery form and spicy. It suits well with Kappa. You can make a thick and dry form also by adjusting the water. Its also very tasty.


  1. says


    Ayla curry looking great. You have got an excellent space. Need to check out more of your recipes. I will be glad if you visit mine too

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