Chettinad Fish Curry | Chettinad Meen Kuzhambu

Chettinad Fish Curry | Chettinad Meen Kuzhambu

This is a spicy, flavorful authentic chettinad fish curry (meen kuzhambu) recipe.  I have mentioned in my other chettinad recipes posts that I have became fan of this flavorful cuisine.  You might find the ingredients list and procedure long but don't get afraid it's actually very straight forward recipe, just gather all the ingredients and this can be done with ease too and the end result is worth all the effect we take.

This curry taste just too delicious that you will become fan though let me warn you it's on a spicy side and if you can't handle spicy food then reduce the masala (spices) and red chilli powder to suit your taste. If preferred you can also add little tamarind paste for variation.  I normally pan fry fish before adding it in gravy as that's the way it liked at home, you always skip that step add raw fish and then get it cooked fully.  I pan fried fish a little extra so you see the fish in dark brown color it did taste delicious.   

Other Chettinad Recipes

Chettinad Fish Curry Recipe

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Servers : 4-5 people 


Fish - 500 gms

Oil - 3 tbsp
Onion - 2 Large (or 1 cups chopped)
Tomato - 2 Large (or 1 cups chopped)
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - To Taste
Water - 4 Cups

To Marination
Turmeric Powder - 2 tsp

Salt - 2 tsp
Sambar Powder - 2 tsp (or use 1 tps of red chilli and 1 tsp of coriander seeds powder)
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 1 tsp

To Grind ~ 1
Dry Red Chilli - 5
Coriander Seeds - 2 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Poppy Seeds - 2 tsp [or 9-10 cashews]
Cloves -
Cinnamon - 1 inch pieces 
Ginger - 1/2 inch pieces 
Garlic - 3 Cloves (use 5-6 if using small garlic cloves) 
Onion - 1 Small

To Grind ~ 2
Grated Coconut - 3 tbsp

To Temper

Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig
Bay Leaf -
Asafoetida/Hing - A Pinch 

1. Rinse fish 3-4 times in water. Add 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt, rub well gently and leave aside for 10 minutes. Rinse again fish 3-4 times in water, this step is to remove fish smell.
2. Mix together remaining 1 tsp salt, turmeric powder, sambar powder, ginger-garlic paste and apply over fish. Let it marinate for 15 minutes or more.
3. Roast dry red chilli, coriander seeds, cinnamon  cloves, fennel seeds, cashews (or poppy seeds if using) until light brown just for 2 minutes in medium flame and allow to cool.
~ This step is optional but I always roast dry spices before grinding.
4. Grind roasted spices with ginger, garlic, onion mention in 'To Grind' with little water into smooth paste, keep aside.
5. Grind Coconut with little into smooth paste and keep aside.
6. In a pan or tawa add 1 tsp oil and cook fish in medium to slow flame for 5 minutes or until it gets brown, turn fish pieces and apply little oil cook again until its gets brown and cooked.
~ You can skip this test and use raw fish in gravy but normally I do this.
7. While fish getting cook, we can do start with the gravy. Finely chop onion and tomatoes.
8. In a wok heat oil, add hing, mustard seeds, bay leaf, curry leaves and allow mustard seeds to splutter.
9. Add chopped onion and saute until translucent. Add grinded masala, mix well and cook in medium-low flame until oil separates around 5-7 minutes, stir in intervals.
10. Add Red Chilli powder and saute for a minute.
12. Now add chopped tomatoes, stir well cover & cook until tomato mashes.
~ If you are using raw fish then add fish now and cook for 5 minutes before adding water.
12. Add salt, water and bring it to boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Add coconut paste and simmer for 2 minutes.
13. Now add fried fish and simmer for 5-7 mins or until oil floats on top.

Serve warm with rice or bread, roti, it goes well with all.

Have a nice day ~~
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  1. Omg, chettinad dishes are always mindblowing, can guess the flavour of this curry.

  2. looks fabulous and flavorful curry....nice clicks...

  3. What kind of fish can we use for this fish curry?

  4. @Prethiba, you can use any variety of fish. I used Seer Fish/ King Mackerel/Vanjiram variety


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