Dry fish chutney or Nungel Meen da chutney (in Tulu) is a popular side dish in Tulunadu region. It is  served along with rice and other curries, especially when spice levels in the other curries are bland. The spicy hot, tangy, salty flavor combo with crispy bits of dry fish and texture from grated coconut makes this dry fish chutney, a heavenly add-on for rice.

Dry Fish Chutney is a great alternative when fresh fish is not available because fishermen cannot venture into the seas during monsoon season.

Ingredients to prepare Dry Fish Chutney

Dry fish/salted fish (nungel meen)-100 gms 

Grated coconut – 1 cup 

Red chillies – 3-4

Tamarind ball – small marble size

Cumin seeds – 1/4th tablespoon

Turmeric – 1/4th tablespoon

Finely chopped onion -1 medium sized


Method to prepare Dry Fish Chutney

  1. Wash and clean the dry fish – remove any scales.
  2. Slowly roast the fish over medium heat. 
  3. Turn off the flame when fish turns crispy & can be easily broken to pieces. 
  4. Break them into bite size pieces & discard the tail (if any).
  5. Dry roast the grated coconut along with red chilies, turmeric, cumin seeds for a few mins.
  6. Let it cool away and then transfer the contents into a blender.
  7. Add tamarind ball & salt. Salt is kept to a minimum because the fish already has a lot of salt.
  8. Don’t add water, blend the spices along with coconut well.
  9. Transfer the contents into a bowl.
  10. Thoroughly mix the blended spices with finely chopped onion and fried fish pieces.

A useful tip: If you want to store the chutney for long periods, do not add onion and instead of freshly grated coconut use dried coconut flakes (copra) in the same proportion.  Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

You can find other interesting recipes from the region here