Aug 28, 2019

Chepala Pulusu in Telangana Style ~ Hyderabadi Fish Stew

Usually I don't prefer cooking sea food, as i don't like that taste or texture. However to impress hubby i have learnt and start making Shrimp recipes from some time. When we went to newly opened Asian market, hubby spotted a fresh cut fish store and bought fresh cut Tilapia (bone in) and asked to make fish curry for upcoming Father's day. How can i say NO to that sweetheart's sweet request. From long time i wanted to try this so called 'Chepala Pulusu' recipe, so today that opportunity came with hubby's sweet request.

I have searched few recipes online and set to make this Telangana Style Chepala Pulusu, as I have all the ingredient handy. Thanks a ton to my daughter who helped me in cleaning and marinating fish in this process, because her mommy is so scared to touch fish with hand. Lol! Here is the recipe with few of my additions, Njoy!

Fish - 1 lb (1 medium Tilapia, 5 to 6 pieces)
Onion - 1 medium
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 3 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Cilantro - 1 Tbsp (for garnish)

For Grinding Masala:
Onion - 1 medium
Coriander Seeds - 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Peppercorns - 5 (optional)
Coconut Powder - 2 Tbsp

Making Masala Paste:
  • Dry Roast Coriander, Cumin, Fenugreek Seeds, Peppercorn in a pan, add coconut powder to same pan and let this cool. Transfer to small mixie jar grind everything together until coarse powder. Chop 1 onion into big pieces, add onion pieces to the jar and grind everything together to make a paste.
  • Clean Fish under lukewarm water. Tap with towels to remove excess water or moistness. Rub with 1 tsp salt and then with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and set aside in a wide bowl, close the lid. 
  • Chop 1 onion into small pieces.
  • Soak Tamarind in warm water for 2 min, extract tamarind juice and discard the pulp
  1. Heat wide bottom pan on stove. Add Oil and saute for 1 min. Once Oil is hot, add mustard seed, followed by finely chopped onion pieces. Let onions saute for 2 min.
  2. Now add ginger garlic paste and mix with onions. Add remaining salt and turmeric powder to pan and mix well. 
  3. Add ground paste to pan and mix with onions thoroughly. Add Red chili powder to pan mix well and simmer, until it becomes thick gravy. 
  4. Now add tamarind water followed by Garam Masala and mix everything well. Close lid and let it simmer for 2 min. 
  5. Add marinated fish pieces to pan gently and do not mix them. Let it simmer and cook for 5 to 7 min. Fish cooks fast, do not mix while fish is cooking as fish pieces can break a part. Taste and adjust salt or seasonings as needed. 
  6. Finally add chopped cilantro to pan, close lid and simmer for 1 min and switch off the stove after. 
  7. Take a wide serving dish and first transfer fish pieces, then pour the remaining stew on top, garnish with few cilantro leaves. Serve hot with white rice and enjoy the telangana (Hydarabadi) flavors in this dish.


  • Do not overdo Fenugreek seeds while making masala, it can add bitterness to taste. 
  • Do not disturb fish after adding to stew, Fish cooks fast, stay near by and switch off immediately once fish cooks to soft. Otherwise overcooked Fish can mess up texture and taste. 

Here is the Short Video of the Recipe:

will be back with another regional recipe
stay tuned and take care until then

1 comment:


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