Nellore Chepala Pulusu | Fish Curry | Nellore Fish Curry | Chapala Pulusu

Nellore Chepala Pulusu - Nellore Fish Pulusu is prepared without adding ginger and garlic. This Pulusu is prepared by cooking fish in tamarind juice, tomato and raw mango pieces. It is an excellent side dish with boiled rice or Dosas!!!

The recipe seems simple but the Nellore Pulusu is a unique culinary experience to cook and to eat. The goodness of this dish lies in the balance of the sour ingredients. Given below are some great tips. Follow them and get the perfect blend of flavours and taste.

Print this Recipe



1.Usually the variety of fish that is used for the Pulusu would be Ravva (Indian Salmon), Botcha (Catla/Carp), Korrameenu (Murrel), or Nettili (Anchovy). Boneless fish is never to be used in this curry.

2.The fish should be fleshy and thick. Otherwise tender slim fish pieces tend to disintegrate during the process of cooking itself.

  1. Many people do not like to eat the fish head. I do not myself relish it. But adding eh head pieces to the curry enhances the taste. So the suggestion is to cook the head along other pieces, and avoid eating those. They can be simply taken as additives that can be discarded.

Some special tips about the Pulusu:

  1. Garlic and ginger are never added in the Nellore Chepala Pulusu.

  2. The special feature of the Fish Pulusu is to find the right balance of Tamarind, Tomato Pulp, and Raw mango pieces with salt and Chilli Powder.

  3. A good technique to follow is to fry slowly and steadily whenever a batch of ingredients is being added. Let the oil float on the surface before proceeding to the other step. This curry does require a little extra oil. That gives it a perfect taste and also allows the curry to be preserved for two days without any change in the taste and freshness.

Getting the right Balance for the Pulusu:

  1. After following the recipe faithfully, we may find that the salt and spice content is unsatisfactory. It could be less or more than necessary. It is a good idea to taste the curry at the end of the preparation.

  2. If we find the curry to be bland because the sourness is less, it is better to boil a little Tamarind and adding it to the curry. Give the whole curry a boil after this addition.

  3. If the sourness is more, it is a good idea to separately cook chilli powder and some salt in a little oil and adding to the curry.

  4. Do not stir the Pulusu with a ladle. The fish pieces will disintegrate.

  5. Some people like to add a little piece of Jaggery to balance the sourness. You could try that.

Pulusu Powder:

  1. Roast Rai, Methi seeds, Zeera and Dhaniya seeds and powder the whole. Add this powder to the Pulusu at the very end to get that special taste.

  2. The powder may be difficult to make if the quantity is too less. A good idea is to roast a dry chilli along with the other spices so that grinding becomes easier. However you should take care to adjust the Chilli content in the main masalas.

Nellore Chepala Pulusu | Fish Curry | Nellore Fish Curry | Chapala Pulusu - Recipe Video

Nellore Chepala Pulusu | Fish Curry | Nellore Fish Curry | Chapala Pulusu

| nonvegetarian
  • Prep Time 5 mins
  • Cook Time 45 mins
  • Resting Time 5 mins
  • Total Time 55 mins
  • Servings 4


  • For the Pulusu Powder:
  • 2 pinches Methi (Fenugreek) seeds
  • ½ tsp Rai (Mustard) seeds
  • ½ tsp Zeera (Cumin) whole
  • 1 tbsp Dhaniya (Coriander) whole
  • For the Pulusu:
  • ½ kg Fish Pieces and One fish Head
  • 1 ¾ -2 tbsp Salt
  • 3 – 3 ½ tbsp Chilli Powder
  • ½ litre Tamarind juice (extracted from 45 gms tamarind)
  • 1 Raw Mango pieces (size of a guava)
  • 2 Paste of 2 tomatoes
  • ½ tsp Haldi (Turmeric)
  • 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 3 slit Green Chillies
  • 1 cup Onion (Chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Oil
  • Kothmir (Coriander leaves chopped ) (a little)
  • 2 pinches Heeng (Asafoetida)
  • ½ tsp Rai (Mustard Seeds)


  1. Smear a little Salt, Turmeric, and Chilli Powder to the fish pieces and keep aside.
  2. Powder all the ingredients for the Pulusu Powder and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Put in Rai seeds. Then add chopped Onion, slit Green Chillies, and Curry Leaves. Fry till onion turns light brown.
  4. Add Chilli Powder and Salt and let it bubble up nicely.
  5. Now add Tomato paste and close the lid on the pan. Cook on medium flame till the oil floats on top.
  6. After the oil come to the top, add Tamarind juice and let it cook until again oil seeps out around the edges. Let the Pulusu come to a boil.
  7. Now add the pieces of fish to the Pulusu one by one. Add Heeng. Hold the Pan with a cloth or tongs, and give it a gentle shake or rotate it gently so that the pieces settle down in the Pulusu nicely.
  8. Let the fish cook on medium flame, till oil floats well over the top of the curry. [Imp:Never stir the curry with a ladle]
  9. Now drop the Raw Mango pieces gradually and gently into the Pulusu. Pick up the pot and again give it a gentle shake or rotate gently so that the mango pieces settle down uniformly into the Pulusu. Close the lid and let it cook on medium flame till oil floats to the surface.
  10. Sprinkle a little chopped Kothmir and take the pot off the stove. Let the Curry stand for 5-6 hours, or even overnight, so that the pieces absorb the spices well and the flavours get infused to perfection.

Leave a comment

Rate this Recipe:
Your email address will not be published.