Alamelu’s Chettinad meen kuzhambu, Chettinad Fish Curry, Chettinad Meen Curry. Tamilnadu Chettinad Vanjaram Meen Kuzhambu / Fish Curry Recipe from a Karaikudi Kitchen.
Food brings really good memories. Its those memories that brings back the smile. We lived in San Diego for quite a while and had this curry at a friends place for lunch. I was not a great fish curry fan until I tasted this recipe. I was just blown over. I had seconds, shamelessly even thirds. I just begged my friend Alamelu Annamalai for the recipe. I wouldn’t let her go until I made her write it. She not only shared the recipe but also packed the leftover fish curry to go. I had a happy fish curry overdose that day. Thank you so much Alamu for all the good memories and the wonderful Chettinad fish curry. She hails from Karaikudi and this fish curry is the ultimate fish curry I have ever tasted. You have got to try this to believe me. Lets go make a rock-star Sunday lunch! Shall we?
Heads Up – There is a lot of peeling involved. Alamelu-The Chettinad girl insists that this curry be made with shallots only and not to be substituted with red onions. And she is right. Shallots does make all the difference to the fish curry.
Here is the video of the recipe.
Heat oil in a heavy pan and add in the cumin seeds, pepper and fennel seeds. Let it splutter. It will foam a little because of the sesame oil. Its fine. Add in the shallots and the garlic. Fry till the shallots become tender and starts to change color. About 5-8 minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry for a couple of minutes. Add in the shredded coconut and remove from heat. Cool briefly and grind to a very smooth paste. Add up to 1.5 cups of water while grinding. Set aside.
Add in the fish pieces and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves.
True authentic Tamilnadu Chettinad vanjaram Meen Kuzhambu/fish curry recipe from a karaikudi kitchen.
For the Chettinad Masala
- 4 tablespoon Indian Sesame / gingely Oil
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon black Pepper
- 2 cups shallots
- 10 cloves garlic
- 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
For the Curry
- 2 Tablespoon Indian Sesame Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 heaped tablespoon coriander powder
- 2 tablespoon red chilli powder
- 2 green chillies
- 1 lime size tamarind
- 1 cup water to soak tamarind
- 2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 sprig coriander leaves
- 1/2 kg fish steaks
- Heat oil in a heavy pan and add in the cumin seeds, pepper and fennel seeds. Let it splutter. It will foam a little because of the sesame oil. Its fine.
- Add in the shallots and the garlic.
- Fry till the shallots become tender and starts to change color. About 5-8 minutes.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry for a couple of minutes. Add in the shredded coconut and remove from heat. Cool briefly and grind to a very smooth paste. Add upto 1.5 cups of water while grinding. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan until shimmering. Add in the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves. Let it splutter. Reduce the flame to low and add in the chettinad masala paste and coarse salt. Fry for 3-4 minutes on medium flame until raw smell goes.
- Add the coriander powder and the red chilli powder. Add in the tamarind pulp, green chillies and about 1.5 cups water. Let the consistency of the curry be thin.
- Cook in low flame for about 20 minutes until the curry becomes thick. Check for seasoning of salt. Add more salt if necessary.
- Add in the fish pieces and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Switch off the flame and garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves
It can be stored in the refrigerator for upto 2 days.
The curry is traditionally made with seer fish aka vanjaram meen.
I always use Idhayam brand gingely oil . Also called as nallennai in tamil.
- Category: Non-Veg
- Cuisine: South Indian
Keywords: chettinadu fish curry