Meen Kuzhambu – Spicy fish Curry

Meen Kuzhambu is another traditional South Indian dish. It is made with fresh fish, in a pot of ground spices and the flavor is enhanced with the addition of a little coconut milk. The spicy, sour and intense flavor of this  curry is highly pleasing for the palate.The curry is extremely tasty and goes very well with rice, dosa and rotis. This curry is not made often at home. But when it is prepared, the chatti gets wiped clean in no time at all.

Source – Lakshmy Nair

  • Firm fish – 500 gm
  • Coconut Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Kokum – 3 soaked in 1 cup water
  • Fenugreek powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – as needed
  • Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs

for the masala paste

  • Onion – 1 big
  • Small red onions – 6
  • Green Chili – 2
  • Garlic-  2 big
  • Ginger – 1 Tbsp
  • Tomato – 1
  • Red chili powder –  1 1/4 Tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 Tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut Oil – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Oil – as needed


  • Take oil in a pan. Add the sliced ginger and garlic and saute till the raw smell is gone.
  • Toss in the green chilies followed by the onions and the red onions . Fry again till the onions are cooked.
  • Add the dry masala powders to the pan. Stir till lightly roasted.
  • Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup water and cook till all the ingredients are well done and kind of mashed together. This can be achieved faster if you keep the lid on and let it cook in the steam for 5 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat, cool the masala and grind it in the grinder to a nice smooth paste.
  • Take another pan to cook the fish in. I use a mannu chatti / earthern pot to cook fish.
  • Add the ground masala, the water in which the tamarind was soaked and the fenugreek powder and bring to a boil.
  • Add the fish pieces to the boiling gravy and  cook covered till the gravy becomes thick and the fish is properly cooked.

  • Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Do not use a spoon to stir the curry or the fish will break. just hold the sides of the chatti with a cloth and turn the vessel slowly in circles. The coconut milk and the gravy will combine well.
  • When the gravy starts boiling, remove the pan from heat.
  • Pour the coconut oil on the curry if you are using it. Crush the curry leaves between your palms and add it to the pan.
  • Serve hot with rice, dosa, roti or even bread.

Leave a Reply