Kuzhambu means curry in Tamil and Meen means fish. There are different styles of meen kuzhambu. But this one is simple with nothing to grind and feels like home. Some dishes are really comfort food. It differes from person to person. But I guess for many, it is biryani and meen kuzhambu. Fish curry is very spicy and it has rich flavor. Traditionally it’s cooked in clay or earthen pot, where the fish is cooked in spicy gravy of onions, tomatoes, tamarind and spices sautéed in sesame oil. It’s a classic dish with intense flavors. Eating this would never stop them from licking their fingers Really!!!!
Cooking this dish in earthen pot is the highlight of the dish and it really enhances the taste. But I don’t think I can do that from Canada. So if you are from India or any place where you can do with the earthen pot, please do so Clay pot will absorb the excess water and that clay pot will make sure that anything you cook in clay pot is not spoiled. You will know the difference once you start cooking in clay pot, it makes great difference.
The dish is usually rested for some time and then eaten as it helps the fish in absorbing the flavors into it and makes it more juicy and soft. On healthy note, fishes are rich in iron, calcium; provide good vitamins with less carbohydrate and cholesterol. It makes wonderful addition to any nutritious diet and is always better than eating meat or poultry.
I made this in the weekend with the coconut butter chicken roast for my friends who came home. 😀 It was so easy to make. I have one more fish curry – Chettinadu fish curry recipe which is really tasty too but I have to grind few ingredients. So this one was more simple and easy to make.
- Sesame oil – 4 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 2 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
- Red chilli whole - 3
- Curry leaves – 2 springs
- Shallots – 15, chopped finely
- Tomatoes - 2, chopped finely
- Green chillies – 3, slit
- Garlic – 4
- Tamarind paste – lemon size (use 3 cups of water)
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Chilli powder – 3 tsp
- Coriander powder – 5 tsp
- Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
- Crushed peppercorns – 3 tsp
- Coconut milk – ½ cup
- Jaggery – a tsp.
- Salt – as needed
- Fish – ½ kg
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Lemon juice – 2 tsp
- Soak tamarind in warm water (3 cups), extract pulp and keep aside.
- Clean fish and marinate the fish in turmeric, salt and lemon juice under “marinate” section. Keep aside.
- Add oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, and allow it to splutter. Then add fenugreek, red chilli, curry leaves, asafetida and sauté well. Now add the onions,green chillies and garlic. Sauté for two - three minutes, then add the tomato and sauté till the raw smell leaves.
- Now chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Sauté for a minute till the raw smell leaves.
- Now add the tamarind pulp when the masala is thick. And add required salt. Allow it to boil for 20-25 minutes.
- When oil gets separated and it is thick, add the marinated fish pieces. Allow it to boil for five minutes. Make sure you add the fish only when it is thick.
- I usually don’t boil for more than five minutes. Now add the crushed pepper. Add little more curry leaves and coriander to garnish.
- And add the coconut milk and jaggery, and in a minute when it boils, you switch off the flame.
- Serve after an hour at least. That will help the fish to get cooked well.
- Garnish them with coriander leaves.
2. Give resting time for at least an hour or two. It even taste better the next day.
3. Try to use sesame oil as it gives great flavours to this curry in specific.