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Spicy Masala fish curry or Chepala Iguru

A lip-smacking Andhra delicacy, Spicy masala fish curry or Chepala Iguru is a luscious fish curry redolent with freshly ground spices and herbs.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2 to 3
Author: Padma


  • To marinate:
  • 6 Fish steaks cleaned and cut to required size
  • 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • To grind:
  • ½ inch Ginger
  • 6 garlic pods
  • 1 cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 Tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup hot water for grinding
  • To season:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable Oil
  • 1 cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • Other Ingredients:
  • 1 large Onion finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 green Chilies finely chopped, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons chives finely chopped
  • A sprig of Curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder Adjust to suit your spice levels
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Required salt
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder Optional
  • ½ cup finely chopped coriander


  • Marinate the fish steaks with ingredients under “To marinate” and set it aside for about 20 min.
  • In the mean time grind ingredients under “To grind” in a mixer to a fine paste using hot water.
  • To season, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and season with cinnamon and cloves. Stir for a min till you smell the aroma of the spices.
  • Now add chopped onions, green chillies and sauté till they are slightly brown in colour.
  • Add chives and curry leaves. Stir for a minute.
  • Add marinated fish steaks and sauté for 2 min. Now add some coriander.
  • Add ground masala paste, remaining chilli powder and turmeric powder. Fry till the raw smell goes off. This may take about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Now add required water till the fish immerses and adjust salt. You can adjust the consistency of the gravy to suit your requirement (The gravy for this recipe shouldn’t be too loose).
  • Close the lid of the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes with gentle frequent stirring and then simmer for 2 minutes till oil separates. Turn off the heat.
  • Finally sprinkle garam masala powder(optional) and garnish with coriander.
  • Fish iguru tastes best when served with plain rice accompanied with rasam or pappucharu. You can also serve with vegetable pulao, coconut milk rice, roti, paratha, idli or dosa.


1. Fish is very delicate hence handle with utmost care while cooking.
2. Adjust spice levels to suit your taste.
3. You can also substitute chives with spring onions.
4. Using hot water to grind the paste will aid the poppy seeds to grind easily.
5. You can use ginger garlic paste in case you do not have fresh ginger and garlic and grind only the other ingredients for the paste, but definitely there is a difference in the taste.
6. Make sure not to cook more that 10 to 15 minutes after adding the fish (depending on the quantity).
7. For vegetarians- Use the same process to make delicious veggie gravies, just substitute fish with any of your favourite veggies.