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Friday, June 24, 2022

Varutharacha Koonthal Curry | Nadan Kanava Curry | Kerala Style Squid in Roasted Coconut Gravy (VIDEO)

Koonthal(kanava)/ Squid  is a good source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, iron and selenium. I started seeing this fish when we stayed in Trivandrum long back. Till then, I hardly knew this fish and so hardly tasted. There was a fishmonger woman who came door to door and sold fresh fish. She compelled me to try the kanava(koonthal) first time and I asked my neighbour aunty for the recipe, and she taught me this Squid Curry  Pull the head off, remove the innards and ink sac of the squid, and separate the tentacles. Scrub thoroughly with salt and clean water. The body sac and tentacles of the squid are edible. This fish when cooked tastes like meat, and  then I tried the Kanava (Squid Roast) which is a more delicious version of this fish. Do give it a try if you haven't tasted.

Varutharacha koonthal(kanava) curry is yet another traditional Kerala style curry. The roasted coconut adds volume and sweetness to the gravy. This is a very healthy and delicious curry to be served with steamed rice. We had this curry with steamed rice, cheera thoran and chakkakuru mezhukuparetti. Do give this a try and enjoy !!

YouTube Link- 


 Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6
Author ~ Julie
koonthal (kanava) /squid 500gms
kunjulli / shallots 3/4 cup sliced
green chillies 2-3 vertical slit
ginger 1.5 tbsp chopped 
tomato 1 medium-sized 
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
garam masala 1/2 tsp
curry leaves  2 sprigs
water 1 cup

to roast
coconut 1 cup grated
coriander powder 1 tbsp
hot chilli powder 1/2 tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 2 tsp
water 1/2 cup

to garnish
coconut oil 1 tbsp
curry leaves, a sprig

  • Clean the squid and rinse properly. Cut in roundels if small ones. I had big sized squid, so cut in small rectangular pieces. Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and dry roast the coconut until browned and then add coriander powder and chilli powders on low flame, switch off flame. When cooled, add to a blender jar and add 1/2 cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Heat a mann chatti (clay pot) and add chopped ginger. To this add the sliced shallots, green chillies and curry leaves.
  • Sauté until translucent. To this add the chopped tomato and cook till the tomatoes mash well. Then, add the turmeric powder, pepper powder and garam masala.
  • Slide in the washed squid pieces and give a quick stir. To this, add the coconut paste and add half cup water to the blender jar, wash and add the remaining masala. 
  • Also, add one cup water along with the salt. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes on medium flame. Check the consistency after 6 minutes and simmer again for 2-3 minutes on low flame. 
  • Finally, add the curry leaves and pour a tbsp of coconut oil. Switch off flame, leave covered for 5 minutes. Serve warm with steamed rice. 

* Switch off flame before the desired consistency of the gravy, as mann chatti will absorb moisture and gravy will thicken when cools.
* Dry roast the coconut till golden brown.
* Shallots are equally important in this curry, but if you don't get shallots, use one onion medium-sized sliced.

* Squid Curry


Angie's Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

I have never had squid in curry. This is definitely something I need to try ASAP. The gravy looks so good.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I have been weighting to try this for long time , as I am Not in coastal region it difficult to get squid in our area ,I booked an order in shop where they bring sea foods from coastal areas , today I am going to try it for first time with this recipe and let you know how it turn out