Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, isn’t it?

I have always loved this festive season. It’s not the starry lights, decorations or gifts but rather the cheerful spirit and joyfulness that seem to be in the air at this time of the year. And it is also the time when I am most grateful, when I count my blessings the most.

We will be spending this Christmas away from our extended families but I am still happy and grateful for the fact that all of us are happy and safe whichever part of the world we live in. Good health and safety is pretty much all that you wish for your parents as they get older and live so far away.

And my family always reminds me of seafood curries. Today’s recipe is a traditional mackerel curry from the coastal region of Maharashtra, not really from my home state of Kerala. If you look at the seafood dishes along the coastal line of South West India, especially parts of Kerala, Mangalore, Goa and Maharashtra, you can find so many similarities. But there will be one or two ingredients that would make the dish so unique to the region where it comes from.

Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind) - a traditional seafood preparation from Maharashtra, India -

For example, this mackerel curry is famous among the Konkan community of Maharashtra. But you will find similar seafood preparations both in Kerala and Mangalore. But there is one ingredient that makes this curry so unique to the Konkan community and that is tirphal (a variety of Sichuan peppercorns). Till I came across this traditional dish, I wasn’t even aware of the importance of tirphal in Konkani cuisine. A spice that lends a distinctive woody and smoky flavour to the dish.

Sichuan peppercorns - food photography -

Fresh mackerel is often underrated but the oily nature of this fish makes it perfect for rich curries like this one. It is affordable, sustainable and local which ticks all the right boxes for me when it comes to seafood.

Unlike meat curries, seafood ones are easy to cook; the only job is to make the flavourful base and then cook the fish in it. The defining flavours of this mackerel curry are coconut, tamarind, Kashmiri chillies and tirphal. Since it is hard to get native tirphal in Melbourne, I used Sichuan peppercorns (only a very mild difference in flavour). The peppercorns add a woody kick without being overpowering; it is nothing like the Sichuan dishes that you would have tried.

Fresh fish - food photography -

Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind) - a traditional seafood preparation from Maharashtra, India -

So let’s get cooking Maharashtrian style Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan or a deliciously spicy mackerel curry with coconut, tamarind and Sichuan peppercorns. Especially recommended for days you crave simple, soul food and complete the experience with a bowl of steaming hot rice and a refreshing tomato cucumber salad on the side.


  1. 4 mackerel; cut into four equal sized pieces (head included)
  2. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  3. 1 medium onion; finely chopped
  4. For the coconut paste:

Read full recipe here.

Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind) - a traditional seafood preparation from Maharashtra, India -

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood. 


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11 thoughts on “Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind)

  1. Hamviseafoods November 12, 2016 at 10:38 am Reply

    Maharashtrians like me love consuming fish often, especially during festival season. The recipe of Mackerel given in this link looks delicious, which I am going to try very soon after placing an order with Hamviseafoods. I always depend on them for seafood, as I find it difficult to go to the markets of Mumbai.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RecipeTin (@Recipe_Tin) August 9, 2016 at 1:38 am Reply

    Just by looking at the photo, I can tell that it’s quite spicy. But still, it’s very appetizing for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya August 9, 2016 at 2:10 am Reply

      Might be a bit spicy for your taste but so delicious and comforting with just steamed rice.


  3. Sonal Rawal December 25, 2015 at 5:12 am Reply

    Wow what a spicy and delicious this is. Indian Restaurant in Australia is like a heaven for Indian. We have also our Indian restaurant in North Lakes, QLD, Australia – “Indiawaale”, so come at our place and enjoy healthy and fresh indian foods.


  4. Elson Sequeira December 15, 2015 at 5:11 pm Reply

    You hit the right spots in the writing and in the flavours. It’s the best season of the year. And yes, we wish only the best for our parents.

    I liked the idea of the tirphal in the curry. I remember my grandmother using it for fish curries. Though we don’t use it now. She also had a particular recipe for pork in which she used those. Let’s see if I can dig that out for you.

    Good one Dhanya!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya December 15, 2015 at 11:14 pm Reply

      Thanks so much Elson. Please do dig out that pork recipe; such traditional gems should be preserved.


  5. SaniyaS December 15, 2015 at 2:22 pm Reply

    Hi have been following your blog for quite some time and I really appreciate the fact that you are covering variety of seafood dishes .

    In malvani (maharashtrian konkani recipes “kokum” is used )
    And often in goan fish and green prawns curries tamarind is used )


    • vanyadhanya December 15, 2015 at 11:13 pm Reply

      Saniya, thanks for writing in to me. I have heard both actually. Kokum and tamarind, both are used but of course kokum is used more. Its very similar to the seafood dishes of Kerala where again both are used but changes according to the regions. Well, thats what I learnt after speaking to a couple of people from the region, so used tamarind in this dish. I think the previous konkani recipe, I have used kokum. But thanks again for letting me know, definitely appreciate your insights.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. indusinternationalkitchen December 15, 2015 at 3:08 am Reply

    Looks wonderful! i recently came across triphala – one of my friends showed it to me- she uses it in her biryani recipe. This curry is too tempting as I love fish!


    • vanyadhanya December 15, 2015 at 4:43 am Reply

      I am waiting to go to India to bring back some.


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