There are two kinds of people in the world – people who love love love fried calamari, and those who are allergic to it and thus unfortunately cannot eat it. There is no hate in the equation, sorry. Safe to say that I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it, and I’m not sure I’d want to either. Too much drama? I agree.

Ubiquitous as the salt and pepper version of this fried food is, you’d think that by now – considering its popularity – there would be other variations to choose from. As good though as the original recipe is, I wanted something more flavourful. With a bit of pep.

This recipe borrows from the Keralan style of cooking, especially with the use of coconut oil for frying. Although koonthal roast is usually not so crispy, it’s really quite delicious. What this version is however, is something of a hybrid – the three flour combination makes the rings crispy, and the chilli and curry leaves bring to the table that aforementioned drama.



Serves: 2 - 3
  • 250 grams fresh calamari, cut into ½ cm rounds (reserve the tentacles)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp rice flour
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves
  • Coconut oil, for frying
  • Salt
  • Lime wedges, to serve
  1. Wash the calamari and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the chilli powder, pepper, turmeric powder, rice flour, corn flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning at this stage before it goes on the calamari; coat the rings and tentacles with this spice rub.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a skillet with enough coconut oil (deep enough to cover the calamari while it cooks) and heat the oil until hot enough, but not smoking. Stand back, and add the curry leaves to the hot oil.
  4. Deep fry the calamari in batches until golden, and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
You could alternatively use vegetable oil for frying.


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