Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut)

Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut) is a fish curry prepared in a style common in homes of a southern state of Tamilnadu.

Fish curries are very close to South Indian homes and are popular in coastal states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

I have had some of the best fish curries cooked by my family members and have been inspired by it. Always understood that everyone has a knack of making fish curry and their style varied even though the basic ingredients remained the same.

There are many ways to make fish curry. Sometimes I like to add coconut to the recipe and sometimes without.

I seem to be on a seafood spree the end of the year 2020. Last week, I had posted Prawn Moilee recipe, inspired by fish moilee recipe from Kerala.

Earlier to that, I have shared a simple salmon fish curry recipe for bachelors and beginners , especially suitable for those living away from India earlier.

This recipe is a very common way to make fish curry, it is quick to make at the same time is a very delicious recipe.

How to make Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut)

This is a spicy, tangy fish curry, in which fish is simmered in a tomato and onion gravy, cooked in sesame oil.

Shallots or pearl onions brings a unique taste to the meen kuzhambu.

Ingredients required

  1. Fish – I have used Mathi fish in this recipe. Mathi is sardines in English and iwashi in Japanese.
  2. big lemon sized tamarind 
  3. tomatoes (puréed) 
  4. Shallots or small onion 
  5. Garlic (Hand pounded)
  6. Curry leaves 
  7. sesame Oil 
  8. Mustard seeds
  9. Fenugreek seeds
  10. Cumin seeds
  11. Fennel seeds
  12. Salt to taste 
  13. Red chilli powder 
  14. Pepper powder 
  15. Cumin powder 
  16. Fennel powder 
  17. Turmeric powder 
  18. Water 

Prep work before you begin

  1. Peel the shallots, pound the garlic pods and keep it ready. 
  2. Wash the fish pieces with some rock salt and keep it aside. 
  3. Make tamarind water by soaking tamarind in warm water (1 cup of the total water).

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Shelf life of Meen Kuzhambu

Meen Kuzhambu tastes great on the next day. I like to cook it in the night and store in the refrigerator for next day lunch.

Ideally, it should last easily for 4 days as its cooked with tamarind and has no coconut in it.

Pictorial recipe (step by step)

  • Heat a earthen pot or a heavy bottom pan with a lid, add sesame oil to it.
  • Next add mustard seeds, allow it to crackle, next add in fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds, fennel seeds one after the other.

  • Saute the ingredients for a minute or two and then add shallots or pearl onions, add salt and cook until the onions are slightly translucent.
  • Next add hand pounded garlic pods and saute into the onions.
  • Add in the pureed or finely chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes turn dark reddish in color or until the raw smell is gone.

  • Add tamarind water to the onions and tomatoes once the tomatoes are cooked.
  • Next in goes the spice powders mentioned – Red chilli powder, cumin powder, pepper powder, fennel powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  • Keep the flame on medium and bring it to a boil.

  • Once the curry comes to a boil, add the washed fish pieces one by one.

Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut) Tamil style recipe

  • If you want you can adjust the flavour by adding a piece of jaggery and and cover the pot with a lid and keep on low to medium flame.
  • Simmer the fish kuzhambu for 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked and oil separates on top.
  • Serve it hot with Rice or idli or dosa.

Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut) Tamil style recipe

How to eat Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut)

Serve it with idli or dosa or plain Hot rice.

Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut) Tamil style recipe

Tips

Washing the fish with rock salt, removes some fishy odor also enhances the taste of the cooked fish.

Once you add the fish to the curry, close the lid and let it simmer. Do not stir the fish curry too much as the fish pieces will be soft and may break when stirred vigorously.

Alternative Versions

There are small variations to the recipe, which you can try. I will post them in the future as I make it.

Adding a paste of coconut, fennel seeds and cumin seeds will change the curry to coconut milk based curry.

There is another style in which we grind all the masalas with onions and tomatoes resulting in a very thick gravy, But like I said, they are all variations and this recipe is as such delicious.

Check out my simple salmon curry recipe for beginners and for people living abroad using canned coconut milk. It is delicious. Salmon Fish Curry.

If you like fish moilee another South Indian recipe, there is a recipe closest to it on my blog which is Prawn Moilee. If you replace prawns with fish you get a delicious stew.

Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut) Tamil style recipe

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If you try this recipe, Leave a comment, rate it. Click a picture and tag #soulsomecooking on Instagram or Facebook ill be happy see it.

Meen kuzhambu without coconut (Tamil Style)

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: fish curry, Meen Kuzhambu, Southindian Fish curry
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 500 gms Fish
  • 1 big lemon sized tamarind
  • 3 No.s tomatoes – medium sized Puréed
  • 10-20 No. Shallots or small onion
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Hand pounded
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 5 tbsp sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Fennel powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 4 cups Water

Instructions

  • Heat a earthen pot or a heavy bottom pan with a lid, add sesame oil to it.
  • Next add mustard seeds, allow it to crackle, next add in fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds, fennel seeds one after the other.
  • Saute the ingredients for a minute or two and then add shallots or pearl onions, add salt and cook until the onions are slightly translucent.
  • Next add hand pounded garlic pods and saute into the onions.
  • Add in the pureed or finely chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes turn dark reddish in color or until the raw smell is gone.
  • Add tamarind water to the onions and tomatoes once the tomatoes are cooked.
  • Add the spice powders mentions – Red chilli powder, cumin powder, pepper powder, fennel powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  • Keep the flame on medium and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the curry comes to a boil, add the washed fish pieces one by one.
  • If you want you can adjust the flavour by adding a piece of jaggery and and cover the pot with a lid and keep on low to medium flame.
  • Simmer the fish kuzhambu for 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked and oil separates on top.
  • Serve it hot with Rice or idli or dosa.
Tamilnadu Meen Kuzhambu (without coconut) Tamil style recipe

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Hi, I am Divya !
Hi, I am Divya !

 I am the author of this blog Soulsomecooking. Thank you for visiting my site. I love to share practical and easy to make recipes here. 

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