Jul 15, 2013

Meen Kuzhambu | Fish Curry

Cooking fish of different varieties has always been a challenge. Each variety of fish has its own taste and a recipe tied to it. My mother-in-law has been my tutor when it comes to sea food recipes. She cooks sea food recipes without any clinch. 

I have learnt the art of preparing fish curry using my mother-in-law's sambhar powder. I have tried this recipe with different kinds of fish like tilapia, ocean perch, red snapper and white fish fillet. But, cat fish turned out to be the best.  The secret ingredient for this recipe is right proportion of tamarind pulp and sambhar powder. This powder is made with coriander seeds, red chilies, turmeric and curry leaves. It is mostly served with steamed rice.

Tamarind is heavily used in this recipe. This curry tastes best following day, when fish has absorbed all its flavors. In olden times, this curry was prepared in a clay pot and was stored up to 1 week when preserved in right temperature.


1/2 kg Cat fish
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 sprig of Curry leaves
3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
lemon sized Tamarind
3 tsp Sambhar powder
2 tsp Coriander powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
4 tsp oil
2 Cups of Water


  • In a large mixing bowl, soak tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes. Extract pulp and discard its fiber and skin. To this add sambhar powder and mix well
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil, add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and fenugreek seeds. When mustard seeds starts to crackle add garlic, curry leaves and onion. Fry until onions turn transparent
  • Add tomatoes. Saute until oil separates out from tomatoes
  • Add tamarind pulp and sambar. And then add 2 -3 cups of water. Simmer until oil starts to float on top and gravy thickens. Adjust salt as per taste
  • Add cat fish to the gravy. Cook in medium heat for 15 minutes
  • Serve hot with steamed rice. 

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