clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Thengai Paal Meen Kuzhambu, Tamil style Fish Curry in Coconut Milk

Recipe for Thengai Paal Meen Kuzhambu, Tamil style Fish Curry in Coconut Milk. Fish poached in home ground masala and coconut milk. Perfect side dish for appam, idiyappam, and dosa. It goes well with ghee rice too!

  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



For the masala paste

  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

For the curry

  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (vandhayam)
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 inch piece of tamarind
  • 1 cup second pressed coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup first pressed coconut milk
  • 500 grams fish steaks

Final Tempering

  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 56 Indian small onions. shallots, sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


  1. In a small mixie jar, add in the cardamom, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, coriander powder, red chilli powder, pepper powder and turmeric powder. Add a little water and grind to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan and when its hot, add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
  3. Add in the green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds till the green chillies blister.
  4. Add in the finely chopped onions. Also add in the salt. I have used unrefined sea salt today.
  5. Saute till the onions are nicely brown.
  6. Add in the ground masala paste. Saute for a good ten minutes on medium flame.
  7. Soak half an inch piece of tamarind in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind well to extract the pulp. Discard the seeds and the pith. Add in the tamarind pulp to the curry.
  8. Add in a cup of second pressed coconut milk.
  9. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Add in the fish pieces and let it simmer covered on a low flame for 15 minutes.
  10. Now add in half cup of first pressed coconut milk (thick milk) to the curry. Simmer just for a minute and remove from heat.
  11. Heat ghee in a pan and add in the mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Add in the curry leaves and the sliced shallots. Saute for a few minutes till the shallots are nicely brown.
  12. Add it to the curry.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Tamilnadu
Scroll to Top