Friday, 16 November 2007

Meen Kuzhambu (South Indian Fish Curry)

Bang after an extremely busy and lazy period. How you may ask one can be both at the same. Actually this is what I specialize in and am good at it - 30 years of practice helps. It has been festivities involving fireworks first for bonfire and then for Deepavali. I have been bingeing on too many goodies that is way beyond my waist could cope with. Trying to sober down but without much success. This meen kuzhambu recipe reflects my position, trying hard to sober down but returning to old ways. So here is the recipe for meen kuzhambu for the pure pleasure of food. I got the recipe from this site (a great place for discussing food especially South Indian style) and have pretty much used it without any change.

  • Shallots – 1 cup (or 1 large red onion)
  • Coconut – ½ a coconut
  • Tamarind – lemon size
  • Tomato – 1
  • Corriander powder – 4 Tbsp
  • Chilli powder – 2 Tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Fish – 750 gms
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Curry Leaves
  • Sesame oil – 3 tbsp

Peel and chop the onions except 6 of the small onions. Is using a big onion chop it to medium size and reserve ¼th of them. Grind the coconut, tomato and the reserved onions to a fine paste. To this add the powders and grind again. Extract the tamarind juice and mix it with the ground paste. Clean the fish and rub it with turmeric powder and salt. Heat 2 Tbsp of sesame oil in a pan. Any oil can be used, in Tamil Nadu sesame oil is used to get a unique flavour. When the oil is hot add the fenugreek seeds (this gives a wonderful aroma) and add the curry leaves and onions and fry until the onions turns colour. Then add the ground paste with some water. This has to bubble of for atleast 20 mins. Use more water if the curry is thick. Then add the fish of your choice. King Fish goes very well for this recipe. Cook the curry till the fish is cooked. Pour over the remaining sesame oil on the curry and close it with a lid and enjoy. I have tried some other fish curry recipes as well, but none is as good as this one. The Kuzhambu taste even better the next day.


Puspha said...

Drooling over ur fish curry. Looks very tempting. I´ll give anything for a good fish curry.

Happy cook said...

Love the fish curry , now i just need simple rice for it :-)

Anonymous said...

First time here. That fish curry looks fabulous *drroling*.


Rajani said...

Hi Devi,
Nice looking fish curry. Read just now all your recipes.
Feel like trying your lamb curry and fish too. Lovely blog........


Anonymous said...

what kind of fish did u use??

Devi said...

Hi Puspha, thanks for the comments. Just now checked out your blog and you have a cool one.

Thanks Happy cook. This fish curry is my kids all time favorite.

Thanks for visiting Mamatha. I hope you enjoy the recipes.

Hi Rajani, the lamb curry is a must try, esp with the New Zeeland lamb it comes out really well. Just now checked out your blog and you have a great one.

@Anonymous I generally use King fish. It is called Vanjaram in Tamil. But any fish would suit this recipe. I have tried Salmon and Hake, but wouldn't recommend Salmon.

I checked out all your blogs, didn’t know they were so many great ones out there. I am so glad I started blogging.

Nivi said...

Hi Devi

Iam newly married and i havent cooked before. I tried ur fish came out very well.. Thank u very much...


Sam said...

hi Devi, the recipe looks yummy.. jst had a doubt on which is fenugreek seeds? hope u know how its called in tamil nadu..kindly mail it to me at
thanks a ton.

MadhuSara said...

Hi Devi, your Fish kulambu was a big hit @ our dinner last night! Our friends loved it! They kept on saying
"Kalakitinge ponga".
Thank you for your superb recipe!
It bought back memories back home in India!

Mrs Sumithra Pradeep. said...

hi devi!!
ur fish kulumabu looks very tempting.
Tips:instead of using fenugreek seed for tempering try using kasuri methi(dry fenugrrek leaves).But u have to do the tempering LAST after u prepare the gravy.u will truly appreciate me for the aroma,taste and presentation ..

Anonymous said...

Hello there,

I tried your fish curry once and it came out fantastic. The next day, my husband bought more king fish and asked me to make the same. I am really thankful to you for putting up this recipe in your blog. Really tasty.

I am planning to make it again soon and eat with dosa this time. :)
I have also put this recipe in my blog, and mentioned your blog there-if you don't mind. Please let me know if you are not comfortable with it.

Adhoc Dr

zia said...

Hi Devi, I'm going to try your fish kulambu tonight. I hope it will turns out tasty. Will update you tomorrow. Cheers!

Suresh said...


Superb Recipe, Thanks . My wife loves meen kuzhambu . I made this for my wife y'day and won her heart :-).

S.Suresh Ram

Mohamed Mukthar said...

any different sytle in fish curry if possible tell to the blog

Sasha said...

Ok first things first, I don't know why I followed your recipe and added 4 tbs of corriander to the paste. I have made curry hundreds of times and this was the worst EVER. I was embarrassed to give it to my Guyanese boyfriend. The curry had WAY too many spices, it left a film of spice in my mouth upon tasting. I had to strain the curry to get all of that corriander out! Next were the Fenugreek seeds, thanks for telling me how many by the way. So bitter tasting, it left the worst after taste. I ended up straining out my beautiful King fish and potatoes and starting over with another recipe I had on hand. Trust me, curry is a beautiful, quick food. It doesn't need all of this, it just weights it done. In my families opinion this curry was inedible, don't waste your time!!

swethu said...

Its yummy i wish to prepare this at my home my mouth is watering.The colour is attracting i wish to share a chicken creamy cashew dish which is very nice i want u all to try this one

Anonymous said...

very tasty devi, i insist not to go to hotels.

Devi said...

Thanks for all who tried and enjoyed the recipe. @Sasha I am sorry that the recipe did not turn out well. Corriander powder is one of those things, that needs to be balanced out correctly in a curry. I always follow 2:1 proportions of coriander to chilli powder. If your chilli powder is hot and if you are reducing the amount of chilli powder in your curry, then you should adjust the coriander powder accordingly. Many curries from Tamilnadu involve balancing the 3 main flavours of sourness, hotness and the salt in varying degrees. In this curry, since we are adding coconut and shallot, we need to try and balance the sweetness with the hot, sour and salt. Sorry, I should have mentioned that fenugreek seeds should be used sparingly. Any spice that is used in tempering curries should be used sparingly, including mustard seeds, cumin and fennel statues. I hope this experience does not put you off from trying Tamil style fish curries; there are loads on the internet. I hope you give it another try.

Devi said...

Any fish can be used for this curry, I prefer oily fishes like sardines, mackerels and salmon heads. But firm fishes like King fish and cod would also be good.@Mrs Sumitra Pradeep, I will certainly give kasuri methi a try next time, when I make the fish curry. Thanks for your tips.