The adult is oval in shape with a short snout. It is gray-green in colour with dark barring and a dark spot at the base of the pectoral fin. It commonly reaches 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length, and the maximum length is twice that This species lives in brackish water habitat types, such as river deltas. It eats mainly aquatic plants, but it consumes the occasional mollusk, diatoms, and other animal matter. This species engages in attentive parental care in which several adults care for each broodIn 2010 this species was named the official state fish of Kerala. The following year was declared “The Year of the Karimeen”. Karimeen pollichadhu, a fried dish, is a delicacy served in restaurants. It is familiar to tourists, but because it is very expensive it is not easily accessible to the common man. Production of the species for food is expected to increase in the near future.
Pearl spot fish, also popularly known as Karimeen or Chromide is considered a delicacy. The fish has an elliptical body with tiny shiny diamond spots all over its body. This variety of fish is one of the authentic dishes of the Kerala state. Karimeen, as called, it is commonly found in backwaters of Kerala. A fully grown pearl spot fish is about 40cm long weighing about two kgs.
Karimeen fish has good flavor and taste that titillates the taste buds. Karimeen fry or curry is very popular among the tourists who visit Kerala. The fish is fried, cooked in spicy coconut gravy or grilled in charcoal with spices. It is served on a banana leaf with seasonings and grilled.
Karnataka cuisine is very diverse.The famous traditional south Indian breakfasts like idli, vada and masala dosa was invented in Karnataka in the temple streets of Udupi, which has now become the traditional South Indian food. Described as the mildest in terms of spice content of the five southern states’ cuisines, there is a generous use of jaggery, palm sugar and little use of chili powder; however, Northern Karnataka cuisine, which can be extremely hot, is an exception. Since the percentage of vegetarians in Karnataka is higher than other southern states, vegetarian food enjoys widespread popularity.