Spicy Nellore Fish Curry | Nellore Chepala Pulusu Recipe

Nellore Chepala Pulusu / Nellore Fish Curry is an authentic dish made with freshwater fish. A signature dish in Andhra Cuisine, it is a traditional recipe from the kitchen of Andhra households, especially the Nelloreans. This mouth-watering curry is prepared with simple ingredients like onions, and tamarind. 

This simply made tangy flavored fiery red, and generously spicy dish recipe will leave your family asking for more. You don’t need to add any masalas (ginger, garlic, garam masala) to the curry, instead, you need to use the powder of slightly roasted mustard, and fenugreek seeds. This brings a very nice unique flavor and amazing taste to the recipe. You can add tomatoes and unripe mango as well which gives a unique taste to the dish. But make sure the mango is green and sour. If you are using mango, just take about 30 grams of tamarind instead of 50 grams. It can be served as a side dish with rice.

For this recipe, you can use any fish of your choice but not the boneless. This traditional fish recipe follows gingelly oil, a generous amount of curry leaves which are the main flavor deciding ingredients, and the special dry roasted masala is the key for a twist for the gravy. Trust me if you haven’t tasted this lip-smacking dish yet then you are missing out on a culinary gem. Here is the step by step recipe guide on how to make this delectable Nellore Fish Curry.

Recipe Ingredients & Cooking Process

  • Note: You can change the Servings count below to get updated ingredient quantities.

Nellore Chepala Pulusu

Tangy & Spicy Andhra Style Fish Curry recipe made with tamarind sauce and gingelly oil.
0 from 0 votes
Print Recipe Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Fish Recipe, Nellore Chepala Pulusu, Nellore Fish Curry
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 3


  • 500 g Fish (bone-in, cut into medium-sized pieces)
  • 5 tbsp Oil (preferred gingelly oil)
  • 3 Sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 3 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 3 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 50 g Tamarind (small lemon size)
  • 1 no. Onion (cut into thin & long pieces)
  • 2 no. Dried Red Chillies
  • Salt – to taste


Preparation of Nellore Chepala Pulusu

  • Clean and wash the fish pieces with salt and turmeric. Drain the water completely and set aside.
  • Now, add turmeric, salt, red chilli powder, and 2 tbsp of oil to the fish pieces. Mix well and let it rest for at least 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water for about 15 minutes. Then extract the juice and set aside.
  • Dry roast 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds, and 2 tsp of mustard seeds until everything starts to pop and starts to brown. Cool it down, and grind into a fine powder.

Making of Nellore Fish Curry

  • Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-bottomed wide pan, add in 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, along with 2 dry red chillies.
  • Once they start to splutter, add fresh curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
  • Next, add chopped onions, and a little salt. Fry till the onions turn transparent.
  • Then, add fish pieces to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. Flip the fish pieces once carefully.
  • If you are using raw mango and tomato, add now and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Later, pour the tamarind extract, and mix it well.  Add some more water if needed but remember that the gravy should be thick.
  • Cover and cook on low – medium heat until the fish pieces are done. It will take at least 10 minutes. Adjust salt.
  • Once the fish pieces are cooked properly,  and the gravy thickens, add mustard & fenugreek seeds powder to the curry and mix carefully.
  • Simmer for a minute, add some curry leaves, and turn off the flame. Sprinkle coriander leaves if using.
  • Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Serve this authentic fish curry with rice.



  1. Always use freshwater fish with bone-in for this recipe.
  2. While mixing the curry, just hold the vessel with a kitchen towel and move the vessel in a circular motion gently.
  3. This is completely a traditional recipe, which has Gignely oil and pearl onions, if you change the oil and the onions the taste will vary.
  4. If you are using mango, make sure that the mango should be green and sour.
  5. Use oil, and red chilli powder generously in this recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!