Saturday, 7 January 2012

Fish Curry- Meen Kuzhambu

Fish curry or Meen Kuzhambu is the most favorite dish of many South Indians. Fish curry tastes the best next day, and it goes well with rice, idly and dhosa. This tasty delicious fish curry has tamarind as base and definitely a treat for your taste buds. Here I have given my version of simple meen kuzhambu which I have tried a zillion times in my kitchen. 

Fish (any fish that would go for curry) - 6-7 pieces
To grind:
Small onions- 1 cup
Garlic - 10-12 cloves 
Tomato - 1 (big size)

For Seasoning:
Gingely/sesame oil - 2 Tbsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Methi/fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - little
Green Chilly - 1 (optional)
Tamarind - a big lemon size
coriander powder- 2 Tbsp
Chilly powder- 1 Tbsp (variable according to your taste)
Salt- to taste

1. Clean the fish pieces and marinate them with a pinch of chilly powder and turmeric powder and keep them aside.
2. Fry onions and garlic cloves in a pan with little oil until they turn golden brown. Add tomato, cut into pieces, to the pan and saute well. Grind this mixture into a thick paste.
3. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and heat sesame oil. Season with mustard, methi seeds and curry leaves. 
4. Saute a small amount of finely chopped onions and chilly along with the seasoning. Then, add the ground paste to it. 
5. Add coriander powder and chilly powder to the mix and cook well.  Add salt to taste.
6. Once the spices get cooked, add the tamarind pulp (make tamarind pulp according to the amount of sauce needed). Allow it to boil for 10-15 mins, in low fire, until the raw smell of tamarind goes off. 
7. Finally, add the fish pieces to the curry, allow to boil for five more mins and remove from the gas. 
8. Meen Kuzhambu is ready.

Onion and garlic paste gives a thick texture to the curry. I have not added coconut. If you prefer, you can also add a piece of coconut while grinding onion and garlic.
Do not use Salmon for this curry, as the fish becomes rubbery with tamarind and spoils the taste.
Do not let the curry on fire for long time after adding the fish and do not mix too much with the spoon as the pieces might break.
Make sure that you leave it to stand for at least 2 hours before eating, so the curry gets the essence of fish and tastes better.
Take care while adding salt to the curry if you use sea fishes. 

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