Friday, 11 June 2010

Meen kuzhambu / Fish pulusu / Fish in tamarind gravy


Meen kuzhambu needs no introduction. Most NV eating people simply love it. I remember Sivaji's Mudhal mariyathai movie whenever I make this tasty dish. He acted so nicely, even people who doesn't like meen kuzhambu will be tempted to try it.  Such a great actor !!! If you get a good variety fish then meen kuzhambu has no equals. In villages, people make this dish in an earthenware. Fish cooked in an eathenware has a rich native taste. Meen kuzhambu when consumed on the next day of preparation is the tastiest.

Fish is a good source of protein. Fishes are also rich in omega-3, a healthy fatty acid. Omega-3 fattyacids are heart healthy. Research has proved that they reduce triglycerides and lower blood pressure. They are also shown to reduce the risk of arrhythmias which can cause sudden death and moreover if you enjoy this super tasty gravy you will feel happy :)

Many different fishes are used in cooking. Here in Germany, we get only a few varieties. I have used salmon fish and as you can see in picture they remove the skin and bones completely for such large fishes. Indian variety fishes are the tastiest and fishes taste better with their skin and bones intact :)

Ingredients :

Fish (any fish you like and you are comfortable with )- 250 gms
Tamarind- one lime- sized ball
Onion (shallots are the best)- 1 no or 15 shallots
Tomato- 1 no
Curry leaves- lots :) some 40 leaflets or so
Garlic- 6 pods
Green-chillies- 4 nos
Coriander powder- 2 tbspns
Chilli powder- 3 tspns
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Mustard and jeera seeds- 1 tspn
Fenugreek seeds (methi)- 1/2 tspn
Oil- 4 tbspns (seasame oil is the best)
Salt to taste

Method :

Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the juice. Cut onions and tomatoes. Slit the green chillies. Clean the fish and make pieces out of it. If you buy a fish with skin intact it is essential to remove the scales with a knife. Heat oil in a pan. When it gets heated add fenugreek,  mustard and jeera seeds and allow them to splutter. Now add the onions, green chillies, curry leaves, garlic pods and a pinch of turmeric powder. Saute well until the onions turn translucent. To this mixture add enough salt and cut tomato pieces. Saute well until the tomato pieces turn soft. Add coriander powder and chilli powder at this stage and mix well. Suate for a few seconds until the raw smell of coriander powder disappears. Now add tamarind juice and enough water to dilute the mixture and allow it to boil. Then simmer the mixture for sometime until the consistency of the gravy is good enough (not too thin, not too thick). Now at this stage add the fish pieces and simmer for another 5 minutes ar until oil seperates out. A very yummy fish pulusu will be ready. Serve with hot rice.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : A good variety fish is very important. If you press the fish with your hand the flesh should be very firm and the gill region should be nice pink in colour. If the fish doesn't meet the above criteria it will break into small pieces when you drop them in gravy. Adjust the chilli and salt level according to the sourness of the tamarind. Use shallots and seasame oil if possible. Be lenient when you use oil. Try making it in an earthenware. Use lots of curry leaves. Wait for a day before using the fish kuzhambu, it really makes a lot of difference. Happy cooking !!!


  1. Meen kulambu is so mouthwatering Manju, nice tip to find a good fish, but if it's frozen what to do?

  2. Gravy looks great, spicy and tangy.

  3. fish gravy looks mouthwatering dear

  4. wow..curry looks amazing and tempting !! great pics too...

  5. Spicy fish curry..looks delicious :)

  6. WOW.... So mouthwatering.... Looks good. YUM!

  7. thats such a mouthwatering dish...I am drooling over here...mmm...looks fantastic...thanks for sharing this delicious recipe Manju...yumm...

  8. Fish curry looks delicious.. Looks great too... Yeah.. getting the right fish determines the taste of the curry...

  9. Manju,ore NV-yaa pottu thaakkareenga. :)

  10. Manju,

    Fish curry looks yummy. veggie like me gets temptation

  11. Yumm!! meen kuzhambu supera irruku Manju,click itself makes me hungry..

  12. Looks amazing :) Nice clicks :)

  13. Meen kuzhambu looks so appetizing :)

  14. Tangy & yummy gravy..would be great to have with rice

  15. Nice pulusu...makes one' really hungry'

  16. Nice n slurrping fish pulusu dear looks perfect makes me hungry..You hv done it perfectly,,hmm aamam Manju naanum mudhal mariyadhai padathula avaru meen saapdum poedhu echil oorum epdi mullu thaniya varum la,,,hmm nalla rusichu saapduvaaru...hmm,,,super kulambu Manju... salmon poettu seithurukeenga kandippa nalla irukkum..naanum ippa ellam weekly once seithudaren..

  17. Really tempting fish curry..Wonderful recipe!

  18. Such a delicious meen kuzhambu! Your beautiful photograph tempts me to try this at once!!

  19. Manju, such a tempting kulambu. My all time favorite.

    Next time try to add red(orange) salmon. It tasted just awesome in kulambu and other recipes as well.

    Even I just cannot forgot those Mudhal Mariathai movie scenes.

  20. Meen kulambu super pa. Muthal mariyathai movie scene....nice touch for the anecdote. I too remember the way Mr. Shivaji eats the fish and jollufy:)