Chettinadu Fish Curry – Meen Kulambu

CHETTINADU FISH CURRY

Chettinadu Fish Curry Meen Kuzhambu is a very popular and traditional south Indian fish curry. It is very spicy and it has rich flavour. 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.

Ingredients

Marinate:

  • Fish – 7
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • salt – 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
    To grind:
  • Small onions -6 chopped roughly
  • Tomato – 2 Chopped roughly
  • Coconut – ¼ cup
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Poppy seeds soaked in water – 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic – 4
  • Ginger – ½ inch

To temper:

  • Oil – 1½ tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli – 1
  • Asafetida – a pinch
  • Curry leaves – 6
  • Shallots/Small onion – 5
  • Big onion – 1 chopped nicely
  • Garlic – 5 chopped
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Tamarind – Lemon sized

Method:

  1. Soak tamarind in warm water (around 1 /2 cup), extract pulp and keep aside.
  2. Clean fish and marinate the fish in turmeric, salt and lemon juice under “marinate” section. Keep aside.
  3. Take the “to grind” ingredients and Sauté the chopped onion, when its translucent, add the chopped tomatoes. Grind the sautéed onions, tomatoes with other ingredients in the “to grind” items. Keep it aside.
  4. Add oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, and allow it to splutter. Then add fenugreek, red chilli, curry leaves, asafoetida, onions and garlic. Sauté for two – three minutes, then add the blended paste, chilli powder and coriander powder. Sauté for a minute.
  5. Now add the tamarind pulp. Add some more water, I added 2 more cups (adjust according to the thickness you want) and add required salt. Allow it to boil for 20-25 minutes.
  6. When oil gets separated, add the marinated fish pieces. Allow it to boil for five minutes.
  7. I usually don’t boil for more than five minutes. You switch off the flame the fifth minute and serve after an hour at least. That will help the fish to get cooked well
  8. Garnish them with coriander leaves.