Delicious Sura Puttu!

The traditional dishes of Chettinad leave an indelible mark on the mind which cannot be overcome by any other cuisine in India. The secret lies in the spices being used; they are always freshly roasted and ground for each dish making them so aromatic and tasty! Chettinad is a small town about 85 km from Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu. At least once in a lifetime, you must make it to Chettinad and try out their original cuisine. Getting there is easy; set up camp in one of the numerous hotels in either Trichy, which is 75km from Chettinad, or in Madurai, tour the numerous delightful temples and sights, and in-between take a break and savor the flavors of Chettinad!

Sura Puttu is a flaky fish dish that is light and flavorful on the palate and so easy to make. The best fish to use for this is shark, but you can always alternate it with some other dense fish. The elderly as well as kids will enjoy this dish as there is no fear of bones getting in the way.

Traditionally this dish is served with white rice, fish curry or rasam; an interesting makeover would be as a stuffed chapatti or bread roll. Whatever the style of eating, here is the delicious recipe for Sura Puttu, or shark scramble.


Fish – ½ kg
Chopped onions – 2
Chopped green chillies – 4
Grated ginger – 1”
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Coriander powder – 1 Tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ Tsp
Chilli Powder – ½ Tsp
Coriander leaves – a few
For Seasoning:
Mustard seeds – ½ Tsp
Cumin seeds – ¼ Tsp
Curry leaves – 8-10
Oil – 2 Tsp


Place boneless chunks of the fish inside a deep pan with ½ a cup of boiling water, salt and turmeric powder. Boil for about 5-7 minutes till the pieces turn opaque. Put off the fire and allow it to cool. Then bring out the pieces and remove the skin and any other unwanted parts. Using a fork shred the fish chunks into flakes. Add the three spice powders into the scrambled fish and keep aside.

In a wok, heat a little oil and add the mustard and cumin seeds, when they start to crackle add the chopped onions, chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes till the onions turn translucent before stirring in the shredded fish and salt to taste. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes till moisture is lost. Finally add in the grated coconut and roast slightly till it emanates a heavenly aroma. Put off the flame, pour into a serving dish and garnish with coriander. Your Sura Puttu is ready!