Chettinad fish curry / meen kuzhambu.


This healthy, flavoursome fish curry, full of warming spices and a hint of chilli, can be whipped up in less time than it takes to order one in, so ditch the takeaway menu and enjoy some healthy, homemade fare. In chettinad fish curry is mostly prepared with Vanjaram Fish its also known as Seer fish, King fish, Spanish Mackerel etc. Another important way prepare chettinad fish curry is cooking curry in mud pot or vessel. The mud vessel maintains the temperature through cooking process.

Recipe type: Non-Veg
Cuisine: South Indian
Serves: 4 – 5
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
For the Chettinad Masala
  • 4 tablespoon Sesame / gingely Oil
  • ½ tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoon black Pepper
  • 2 cups onions
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
For the Curry
  • 2 Tablespoon Sesame / gingely Oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 spring curry leaves
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoon Red chilli powder
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 lime size tamarind soaked in 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 sprig Coriander leaves/cilantro
  • ½ kg fish steaks
  1. Heat oil in a heavy pan and add in the cumin seeds, pepper and fennel seeds. Let it splutter. It will foam a little because of the sesame oil. Its fine.
  2. Add in the onions and the garlic.
  3. Fry till the onions become tender and starts to change color. About 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry for a couple of minutes. Add in the shredded coconut and remove from heat. Cool briefly and grind to a very smooth paste. Add upto 2 cups of water while grinding. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan until shimmering. Add in the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves. Let it splutter. Reduce the flame to low and add in the chettinad masala paste and coarse salt. Fry for 3-4 minutes on medium flame until raw smell goes.
  6. Add the coriander powder and the red chilli powder. Add in the tamarind pulp, green chillies and about 1.5 – 2 cups water. Let the consistency of the curry be thin.
  7. Cook in low flame for about 30 minutes until the curry becomes thick. Check for seasoning of salt. Add more salt if necessary.
  8. Add in the fish pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes more.
  9. Switch off the flame and garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves
  10. Now ready to Serve with rice, Dosa and Idly


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