I learned this mouth-watering fish kuzhambu / fish curry recipe from my MIL, who excels in non-vegetarian dishes. This recipe is best suitable for the sea breed fish (Pomfret, King Fish, etc.,)
I came up with another recipe of Arachuvitta Meen Kuzhmabu that could also equally good when compared to this meen kuzhambu.
Are you searching for other authentic recipes, then do visit brown rice puttu recipe.
What is meen kuzhambu?
‘Meen Kuzhambu’ is a Tamil word which translated to ‘Fish curry’. This is Tamil Nadu style fish curry, in which curry is cooked in the tamarind sauce. Fish kuzhambu is a perfect blend of hot and tangy. One of the important common recipes that the South Indian families make all the time at home. This recipe is the one how the people of Tamil Nadu make, especially in the mid-state like the Chettinad cuisine.
How does this Chettinad fish curry taste like?
The important criteria for a perfect meen kulambu are the tanginess. The South Indian style fish curry tastes delicious if it is tangy than the regular gravy recipes. The sourness of the tamarind subtle down the fish’s odor.
Best Fishes for making South Indian fish curry
We use to have fish curry in our lunch menu at least once in a week’s time. After coming over here, getting Indian fish verities is hard in the United States. Sometimes we get it from the frozen aisle from the Indian stores, and we are not lucky all the time with the quality of the fish. It is kind of hit or miss attempts.
Pomfret, kingfish, barracuda are some of the Indian fish verities that are a good choice for making fish curry.
We get from the Asian fresh markets, but these are quite far away from my place. When we really crave for authentic fish curry, we drive for 2 hours just to get the fish from the Asian fresh markets.
American fish verities like fresh salmon and grouper are best to make in this South Indian fish curry. I have found good quality fresh salmon and grouper in nearby Giant store and Wegman’s. Where salmon is available in most of the time, where the other one is rare.
The one and only companion of this kind of fish curry is the white rice. Though I have tried with other Indian dishes, I found the rice is the only dish that can perfectly pair up with.
The leftover fish curry is good to serve with South Indian breakfast dishes like idli, dosa. My mom uses to make this curry in a large quantity and save some for serving on the next day at breakfast.
Normally, we use the leftover kuzhambu for dinner as the side dish for kal-dosa/uttapam.
Vadagam-This is an authentic and traditional recipe of Tamil Nadu and has some unique ingredient called ‘vadagam’, I have come up with the post exclusively describing to make in the home. Vadagam is a dried onion with spices. This is usually sun-dried, which is not possible in the colder regions like the North-Eastern coast of the United States. So, in that post, I have explained how to make vadagam in the oven, without sun drying.
If vadagam is not available to you, you may season with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, garlic, cumin seeds, and curry leaves.
Coconut– Another important ingredient is the fresh coconut. You may also use frozen grated coconut, which is easy to find in the Indian stores.
Tamarind– Another key ingredient in this recipe. You may use original tamarind, or tamarind paste or tamarind pulp. This is an important item which cannot be substituted with any other ingredients. If this ingredient is not handy, reserve this authentic meen kuzhambu recipe for future use.
- 1 lemon size tamarind / 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp vadagam
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 3 tbsp grated coconut
- 3 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp salt or as required
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 lb fish slices
- Soak tamarind in hot water for 15 minutes or until it becomes soft and tender.
- Extract tamarind juice from the pulp. And transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Over medium heat, in a pan add vegetable oil, vadagam.
- Allow the mustard seeds in the vadagam to splutter.
- Then add chopped onion and saute until it becomes transulacent.
- Allow it to cool.
- In a blender jar, add the onion mixture, tomato, red chili powder, coriander powder, and grated coconut.
- Grind it to a fine smooth paste. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, add the ground mixture, tamarind extract, salt, and water.
- Over medium heat, bring it to boil and cook for 10 minutes or until it leaves out the raw flavors.
- Then add fish slices. Turn to low heat, and cook for 12 minutes.
- Before switching off the heat, add sesame oil. Stir and close it with the lid.
- Serve this fish kuzhambu with rice.
Tips and Variations for Meen Kozhambu:
1. If vadagam is not available, heat oil in the pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, fenugreek seeds, chopped garlic wait till it gets splutter. Use this in replace of vadagam.
refer how to make vadagam in pepper bowl.
2. Adjust the thickness with the coconut.
3. If you are making larger quantities multiply its ingredient’s proportions.