Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Sura Puttu (Fish Scramble)

 Published 2016-Jun-07   Updated 2016-Aug-15

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Scrambled Fish, Fish Podimas, Fish Hash, Shark Puttu, Vanjiram Puttu, Salmon Puttu, Tilapia Puttu)

Fish Puttu is a traditional dish made in Kerala and Tamil Nadu with shredded fish. The preparation is very similar to making poriyal or thoran. In Tamil Nadu it is popularly made with Shark and famous as Sura Puttu. In Kerala it is also made with other fishes like King fish, prawns etc.During my stay in US, I've tried making fish puttu with other fishes having thick flesh like salmon, king fish, tilapia, cod, tuna and shrimp (eral puttu). On each occasion it turned out pleasantly good.

This dish is a good way to make kids eat fish since it is mildly spicy. The bones are removed and the final product is very soft. Old people or kids can have it without fear of biting into fish bones. The preparation is also quite simple. Do give it a try.

Recipe for making Sura Puttu

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


  • Shark (Paal Sura)  - 1 lb (or any other fish like salmon, king fish, vanjiram, tilapia, etc..)
  • Shallot Onions - 10- 15 (chopped)/ Onion - 2
  • Green Chilies - 3-4 (slit)
  • Ginger - 1" piece (grated)
  • Grated Coconut - 4 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
  • Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) - 1/4 bunch

For Tempering

  • Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin / Fennel Seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - 2 strands
  • Oil - 2 tsp


  1. Clean the fish and cut it into pieces. 
  2. Take 1/2 cup of water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Add salt, turmeric powder and the fish fillets.
  3. Cook for at least 5 minutes till the fish is cooked and the flesh turns opaque.
  4. Carefully remove the fish pieces and cool a bit. Separate the meat from the skin and bones. Scramble it with your fingers. Mix in the red chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder with the scrambled fish.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and crackle the mustard seeds. Add the chopped onions, green chilies, ginger, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  6. After frying for couple of minutes, add the shredded fish mixture. Add little salt.
  7. Stir fry on medium high flame for the next 5 minutes.
  8.  After all the moisture evaporates, add the grated coconut. Fry for couple more minutes so that it gets slightly roasted.
  9. Add finely chopped coriander leaves and switch off.

Detailed steps for making Sura Fish Puttu

Wash the fish and cut into pieces. If you are using fillets, it makes things easier. Cook the fish in one of the following 3 ways. (a) Bring some water to a boil with some salt and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder. Add the fish fillets and let it cook for about 5 -7 minutes until the fish is completely cooked and then drain the water.(b) Sprinkle some salt, turmeric powder and chili powder on the fish and grill it on a tawa.(c) Apply salt and turmeric powder on the fish fillets and steam using the idli stand or steamer. I have used the first method to cook the fish as shown below.

Sura Puttu Preperation Step Sura Puttu

After the fish is cool enough to handle, remove the meat of the fish from the bones. The shark usually has just a center bone, Shred the meat nicely using your fingers or a fork. Mix little coriander powder, red chili powder and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder with the shredded fish.

Sura Puttu Preperation Step

Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.

Sura Puttu Preperation Step

Add the chopped green chilies, cumin (or fennel) seeds, curry leaves and grated ginger. Saute for just a minute. You can also add finely chopped garlic cloves to this.

Sura Puttu Preperation Step

Add chopped onions and fry for couple of minutes. Some people like to add 2-3 pieces of kokum (kodum puli) at this stage to give a slight tanginess. I don't add it.

Sura Puttu Preperation Step

Add the shredded fish, required salt and mix everything together. Fry everything together for another 5 minutes until the mixture gets dry.

Sura Puttu Preperation Step

Finally add fresh grated coconut and toss everything together. Roast it for few more minutes till the puttu gets a pleasing aroma and color. If you prefer extra spice, add 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder at this stage. Add finely chopped coriander leaves and switch off. Tasty fish puttu is ready to be served.

Sura Puttu Preperation Step

Serving Sura Puttu

  • Sura puttu is traditionally served with white rice and some curry. Traditionally it is served along with fish curry or rasam.  It will also taste good with chapatti or can be stuffed inside toasted bread.


  • A variation of the above fish puttu is made in Kerala with few changes. Instead of adding the onions at the beginning, it is crushed with the grated coconut along with some green chilies and cumin seeds and then added to the shredded fish. While fish Puttu is generally made with only shredded fish, fish peera is made with shredded fish as well as whole small fishes like anchovies (nethili). I have shared the detailed recipe of Meen Peera here.
  • As I mentioned before, this fish puttu recipe can be made with other fishes too. Here is the picture of fish puttu made with salmon. It tasted delicious too.

Fish Puttu

More Fish Recipes

Fish Pickle Fish Pickle Fish Egg Fry Fish Egg (Mullet Roe) Fry Fish Curry Fish Curry Fish Fry Fish Fry/ Grilled Fish
See more...

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 Published by on and last updated on 2016-08-15.