Kerala Salmon Curry


We’re simmering salmon and spices in coconut milk!

Salmon Curry

This Kerala salmon curry is my mother-in-law’s recipe and it’s one of my favorites! It’s made with Indian spices, curry leaves and coconut milk.

Roby and I eat some form of seafood at least once a week. Some favorites: shrimp curry, sardine thoran, fish cutlets or this salmon curry. While this salmon curry isn’t quite as quick or easy but it is fantastic. I typically make this on weekends or if I’m not too tired after work then I’ll make it on a weeknight.

what is kodampuli?

One ingredient in this recipe might be new to you – it’s a dried fruit called kodampuli and you can find it in most Indian grocery stores. I know the name sounds different, but think of it like any other dried fruit – a funny looking medjool date, you know?

Don’t be afraid of kodumpuli’s strong smell. While it’s very aromatic, it’s flavor is much more subtle. It produces a slight but noticeable tanginess to fish curry, giving it an awesome, complex and unique flavor profile.

Kodampuli (or kudampuli) is a sour, smoked and dried Indian fruit – it’s similar to tamarind and is used as a souring agent in Keralite fish curries. It’s also known as fish tamarind or gambooge – and is also often and wrongly confused with kokum (another sour fruit used in Indian dishes). You can most likely find kodampuli at your local Indian grocery store (just ask the owner if they have it). Kokum works too if that’s all they have.

After you buy kodampuli, you’ll want to store it in an air-tight glass container. Why? Because it has a strong smell, remember?

To prepare it for cooking, rinse the dried fruit and then soak it in water for half an hour before adding it to your curry.

Try this curry – I hope you enjoy it. Personally, I think this fish dish tastes better the next day once the flavors have all had some time to marry. It’s a huge hit with my hubby.

Salmon Curry

Salmon Curry

5 from 5 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 Serrano peppers slit but still intact
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1- inch knob fresh ginger minced
  • 6-7 garlic cloves minced


  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pieces of Kodampuli soaked in water
  • 1 pound wild-caught sockeye salmon skin removed, cut into a few pieces (you can cut this into smaller pieces once the fish is cooked)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk, full fat
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat oil on medium heat and splutter mustard and fenugreek seeds.
  • Add onions, serrano peppers, curry leaves and pinch of salt.
  • When the onions turn golden, add ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for a couple minutes and then add the spices. Mix everything together, add the water and the kodampuli.
  • Bring everything to a low boil and then add the salmon. After a couple minutes, gently flip the fish. After another two minutes, add the coconut milk.
  • Season well with salt and pepper and let the fish simmer in the coconut milk for about 5 minutes until the curry has thickened a bit.
  • Once the curry is done, you can cut the fish into smaller pieces with your spatula, if you’d like.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Alvina says

    Hi Ashley,

    I am so happy to see some recipes from Kerala on your website!
    Have you ever tried making some of the batters/breakfast breads from Kerala?

    Like palappam, putteh, or kalappam?
    If there was ever something for the instant pot for any of that, I would totally be interested!



    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Alvina! I have tried but let’s just say I have a lot of practicing to do with making appams lol. I did make vattayappam in the instant pot – not sure if you saw that recipe? It took me forever to recipe test and I almost gave up lol but I finally got it just right! It’s surprisingly easy to make but it does take quite a few steps! If you try it, I’d love to know what you think!

  2. Judy says

    5 stars
    I made this recipe this past week.We loved it! Just finished leftovers today! It really does improve the day after. The Indian supermarket chain (Patel Bros.) I shop in, didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked for Kodampuli or Gambooge, I looked and looked and finally near the Hing, I found a bag with a picture of a fruit called Cambodge. It was from Kerala! I figured this has got to be it and it was. I used 2 whole pieces that I soaked as you recommended. Was I supposed to use them whole or just slice a couple of pieces off ??? The subtle flavor they imparted to the curry was amazing.(I have tasted it before in certain resturant dishes but never knew what it was.) I left the pieces in overnight then discarded after reheating. Not sure if this was the right thing to do. If you could comment on the Kodampuli that would be helpful to me! Thank you so much for the info about it within the blog post it was very helpful. I look foward to cooking more recipes from your blog!!!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Judy! I’m so glad you loved the salmon curry 🙂 To answer your question – yes it’s good that you used two whole pieces 🙂 And yes, you can remove it before serving – or just eat around it. Hope that helps! Can’t wait to hear what other recipes you try from my blog!

  3. Elizabeth says

    Hey Ashley! I’m pescatarian myself so love this recipe! I was wondering if I can use tamarind instead of kodampuli as I live in Chiang Mai and haven’t seen any Indian supermarkets up here.

  4. Megan says

    5 stars
    Made this tonight. Trying to eat fish once a week in 2016, and I can’t think of a more delicious way to eat salmon!


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