A Simple Fish Puttu (Fish Purru)

sura puttu, fish puttu

Sura Puttu is a traditional South Indian dish made from shark meat.  It is particularly popular in the coastal regions of Tamil Nadu. The term “sura” refers to shark, and “puttu” generally means scrambled or mashed, referring to the texture of the dish. If you prefer or cannot obtain shark then other fish can be used. You may also see it spelt as purru rather than puttu. There are many variations on this basic recipe.

  • Fish Choice: Ensure the fish is fresh and firm. It should hold together well during cooking.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the number of green chilies and the amount of black pepper according to your spice preference.
  • Coconut: Adding coconut is optional, but it adds a nice texture and flavor to the dish.

Key Features of Sura Puttu

  • Main Ingredient: Shark meat, usually sourced from smaller, less endangered species.
  • Preparation: The shark meat is boiled and then crumbled or shredded. It is then sautéed with a mixture of spices, onions, and sometimes grated coconut.
  • Spices: Commonly used spices include turmeric, black pepper, green chilies, curry leaves, and coriander powder.
  • Serving: Sura Puttu or fish puttu is often served as a side dish with rice, but it can also be eaten with flatbreads like chapati or roti.

Nutritional Value

  • Protein: High in protein, given the primary ingredient is fish.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids found in shark meat.
  • Low Carbohydrates: Typically low in carbohydrates, making it a good option for low-carb diets.

Preparation Steps

  1. Fish is usually prepared as per the instructions on the packet or by the fish monger. If you are using shark meat then a different approach is needed.  You need to boil shark meat until it is fully cooked. This process also helps in removing any strong fishy odor.
  2. Shred Meat: Once cooked, shred the meat into fine pieces or crumble it using hands.
  3. Sautéing: In a pan, heat some oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Sauté onions until golden brown, then add green chilies, ginger, garlic, and the shredded shark meat.
  4. Seasoning: Add spices like turmeric powder, black pepper, and salt. Mix well and cook until the meat absorbs all the flavors.
  5. Finishing Touch: Optionally, add grated coconut towards the end for an additional layer of texture and flavor.

A recipe for two. Takes about 1 hour to prepare and cook.


  • Fish: 200 grams (kingfish, mackerel, or any firm white fish)
  • Onion: 1 small, finely chopped
  • Green Chilies: 2, slit
  • Ginger: 1-inch piece, finely chopped
  • Garlic: 3 cloves, finely chopped
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry Leaves: A few sprigs
  • Mustard Seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Grated Coconut: 2 tablespoons (optional)
  • Oil: 1 tablespoon (coconut oil or vegetable oil)
  • Salt: To taste
  • Coriander Leaves: A small bunch, finely chopped (optional for garnish)


  1. Boil or Steam the Fish:
    • Boil or steam the fish until it is fully cooked. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
    • Let it cool slightly, then crumble or shred the fish into fine pieces, removing any bones if present.
  2. Sautéing:
    • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
    • Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them splutter.
    • Add curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds until they become crisp.
  3. Add Aromatics:
    • Add chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
    • Add chopped green chilies, ginger, and garlic. Sauté until the raw smell disappears.
  4. Add Spices:
    • Add turmeric powder and black pepper powder. Mix well.
  5. Add Fish:
    • Add the crumbled fish to the pan. Mix well to coat the fish with the spices and aromatics.
    • Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fish absorbs the flavors.
  6. Finishing Touch:
    • If using, add grated coconut and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes.
    • Add salt to taste and mix well.
    • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves if desired.
  7. Serve:
    • Serve hot with steamed rice, chapati, or as a side dish with other main courses.


  • Coconut Sura Puttu: Adding more coconut can make the dish richer and add a sweet undertone.
  • Spicy Sura Puttu: Adjusting the amount of green chilies and black pepper can increase the spiciness.
  • Herbs: Some recipes may include fresh coriander leaves for garnishing.

Sura Puttu is cherished and valued not just for its taste but also for its nutritional benefits, making it a favorite in many South Indian households.

Visited 8 times, 1 visit(s) today

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.