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Fish Curry – Meen Kozhambu

Fish curry and fish fryFish curry and fish fry

Before I start blogging about this recipe, just a note – I am trying to change the look and feel of the site, so please bear with me while you see some color and font changes.. Now back to the recipe blog..

My Sister has long wish list that she wants me to post. One of her ( and my ) favourites is fish curry. Fish curry is called Meen Kozhambu in Tamil, Chepala Pulusu in Telugu. Living close to the coast, we always had our share of fresh fish. Thats why whenever I see the white fish fillet here in USA, I just cannot get myself to think thats its fish. More like white spongy rubber to me !!!

My mom and my grandmother make the best fish curry I have ever tasted. Especially the nethili meen kozhambu my mom makes (slurp!! slurp!! My mouth is watering as I type this) – Every time I pass by the kitchen, I will pop one of fish in my mouth – Sooo yummylicious…

This saturday, I visited the farmers market and there was a “Straight from the Sea” stall and boy was I going to miss it !! No way !!! I got a red snapper whole fish ( cut into half, scales removed ).

I started to fillet it the way we do it in India right across the fish, and I was having some difficulty with it. Just as I was pondering how to tackle the remaining fish, I remembered Santhi’s disaster in filleting the fish…So I filleted along side – It came out fine 🙂 Thanks for that blog Santhi !! Another important thing is I did this curry in the mann chatti(earthenware)

The recipe is darn simple just as my amma makes. Only thing that is different in making a fish curry is the fish has to be slided in just a minute before it ready to switch off the stove. I love this curry next day with idlis and over dhal-rice.

– half a big onion chopped
– two medium sized vine-ripe tomatos chopped
– two tbs sambar powder ( If using chilly powder, use 1 parts chilly powder to 2 parts coriander powder )
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– pulp from one lemon size tamarind
– for tempering – one tsp each of mustard, fenugreek seeds, cumin

1. Heat 2 tsp oil (preferably gingely oil) and temper it with the ingredients for tempering
2. Add onion and saute for five minutes until its soft.
3. Add chopped tomato, turmeric, sambar powder, salt and cook it until the tomato becomes mushy, around 5 to 10 mins
4. Add tamarind pulp, water and cook until the onions are well cooked – 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust the amount of water to the consistency little thicker than that desired for the kozhambu.
5. Slide in the fish fillets, boil for a couple of minutes and shut down the flame.

1. Cooking with a earthenware, gingely oil, vine-ripe tomatoes definitely make a difference
2. The curry gets diluted when the fish is slided in. So the consistency has to be little thick before adding the fish.
3. Never never cover with a lid after the fish is added to the curry. It will mush up.


May 15, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Oooo lala. Tatz my the most fav curry. I’m drooling here.

    Comment by Puspha | May 15, 2006 | Reply

  2. Not a great fan of fish, but cooking in earthenware sounds interesting. 🙂

    Comment by Cooking Theory | May 15, 2006 | Reply

  3. I am glad that U learned my from my experience. :):)

    Long live “blog world” from where we are learnign so many things..:):)

    Comment by santhi | May 15, 2006 | Reply

  4. Yes Pushpa.. whenever I see non-veg on any blogs I too start drooling…

    Cooking theory :
    Indeed it so much imparts a flavour on the curry or kolambu that is being made

    Oh yes Santhi.. I am sure, I would have ruined the fish if not for your post.

    Comment by Revathi | May 16, 2006 | Reply

  5. ooh! this is torture Revathi!! You shouldnt post such a close-up picture,esp of fish fry and fish curry together!!

    Comment by Inji Pennu | May 16, 2006 | Reply

  6. I want to taste this right NOW !!! I am a big fan of seafood. Thank you for the recipe.

    Comment by archana | May 18, 2006 | Reply

  7. nice post Revathi, both fry and curry same day, wow

    Comment by Lakshmi | May 18, 2006 | Reply

  8. Aaha… first time unga blog varaen.. chance illa… super photo.. I am feeeling hungry.. Wonderful blog u have here..

    enna mathiri grad studentsku oru receipe blog thevai than.. going to frequent urs and cook some good food… blogrolling u… 🙂

    Comment by Anand Prabhu | May 20, 2006 | Reply

  9. That fish curry recipe is so simple and looks so delicious too.Bookmarking it!

    Comment by sailaja | May 20, 2006 | Reply

  10. He he heee LG. No idea not to take fotos he he hee. Thanks for the comment.

    Archana: The recipe is very easy, so long u find fresh fish. Thanks for the comment

    Lakshmi, Thanks for the comment
    Sailu – Yes easy recipe. I saw your fish curry recipe. It was awesome

    Anand : Welcome to my blog.. You should know I woke up humming that song from kadal desam 🙂

    Comment by Revathi | May 20, 2006 | Reply

  11. The third tip was useful to me Thanks! i didnt know!

    Comment by Sumitha | May 22, 2006 | Reply

  12. Hi Revathi,

    That fish curry looks yummy…

    Comment by Bindu Vijayakumar | May 24, 2006 | Reply

  13. am drooling! and yes, cooking fish in a chatti takes it a whole new level!

    Comment by Reshma | May 25, 2006 | Reply

  14. hmmm…u’r fish is quite mouthwatering…

    Comment by indianadoc | May 26, 2006 | Reply

  15. Thanks for this simple and healthy recipe. I liked it so much, I made it the second time! I used trout and no clay chatti.

    Comment by Rajalekshmy | June 25, 2006 | Reply

  16. I’ll tell you what, I am basically vegetarian, but started to non-veg recently. For the first time in my life, I cooked fish curry with your recipe, oh, voila, it turned out so good. I think that where your recipe success lies…

    Thanks very much for sharing this recipe. Cheers, Vidhya

    Comment by JUS LIKE DAT | April 11, 2007 | Reply

  17. Hi,
    there r no words to describe ur fish fry.supera irruku..
    try to post more NV recipes.

    Comment by priar's, | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  18. miga miga nanri. indraiku thaan yennoda meen kozhambu-ku uyir vanthathu.

    very very thanks. only today my fish gravy got its life.

    your method of explanation is really simple and friendly.

    Comment by Anonymous | June 15, 2007 | Reply

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