Meen Kulambu is a very popular and traditional South Indian Fish curry which means fish cooked in tamarind based gravy. It has very rich flavour, spicy and tastes blissful. Traditionally cooked in a clay or earthen pot, the lady fish (Indian whiting/ kizhangan/ Nogli / Kane) is cooked in spicy and delectable gravy made with onions, tomatoes, tamarind and spices sautéed in sesame oil.The process is simple yet very appetizing, flavourful and lipsmacking.
Meen kulambu or Fish Kulambu can be cooked in various styles. This dish is popularly cooked in the state of Tamil Nadu. Keralites, use coconut in preparing the fish kulambu. Kulambu or Kuzhambu is a stew based dish that intermingles with sweet, spicy and tangy savours.
It is one of the common dishes from the south Indian (Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Karnataka) and Sri Lankan cuisines primarily made of a variety of dals. Kulambu is made in many ways with each state preparing it with a typical variation adapting their taste and environment.
Generally the Kulambu comprises of toor dal combined with assorted vegetables and cooked in spicy tomato, tamarind mix gravy served with hot rice. There are umpteen variations of making the Kulambu. Some popular Kulambu dishes are Vatha Kulambu, White Pumpkin Mor Kulambu, Ennai Kathrikkai Kulambu (Eggplant/ Brinjal curry), Paruppu Urundai Kulambu (lentil dumpling curry), Kozhi Kuzhambu (Chicken curry) etc.
Kulambu are freshly prepared, very refreshing, aromatic and burst with fresh flavours. Most of the vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes of southern India have a generous use of coconuts, pepper, mustard seed, red chillies and other spices.
Generally South Indian dishes are spicy and has brilliant blend of flavours, bright colours, smell, and taste. Moreover south Indian food is known for its medicinal value as most south Indian foods such as Curry leaves, mustard, asafoetida, pepper and peppercorns, tamarind, chillies and fenugreek seeds are the main ingredients and contains medicinal values.
Fish cooked in tamarind curry
This is a super awesome dish that has intense flavours and an exotic preparation for all the seafood connoisseurs. Eating this would never stop them from licking their fingers. High flavours from the sweetness of tomatoes, tanginess and sourness from tamarind and spiciness from the chillies blended together; cooked traditionally in a chatti (earthen pot) is the highlight of the dish and enhances the taste and truly pleases the taste buds.
This dish should be rested for some time and then eaten because it helps the fish in absorbing the flavours into it and makes it more juicy and soft. Meen Kulambu goes extremely well with rice, dosa and rotis. Fish kuzhambu or kulambi is a classic dish typically prepared in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Mangalore regions.
The simplicity and taste of any fish curry mainly arises from the tanginess of the tamarind, sweetness from coconut and spiciness from red chilies and other simple spices. The head and bones are the most delicious parts of the fish and cooking the fish in sesame oil enhances additional flavour and aroma to the dish.
Fish – Seafood
Fish is one of the prized and nutritionally rich and delicious foods that most of us love. Fish is a staple food in many parts of India and a popular food item of the non-vegetarians cooked delicately with some interesting and unique flavours to suit our palate.
A very unique animal meat rich in essential fatty acids, low in cholesterol and contain protein and many other major nutrients. Normally the taste of the fish purely depends upon its origin, whether from salt or fresh water, its fat content and if eaten fresh or preserved. Normally, often fresh fish is used for baking, roasting, frying, grilling or making a variety of dishes like cutlets, finger chips, curries or in biryanis while dry fish are either fried, used in chutney or in powder form.
How to prepare Fish in tamrind curry (Meen Kulambu):
Fish (ladyfish) - 500 gms
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Curry leaves - 8 nos
Fennel seeds - ½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 5 nos
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Onion paste - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Sesame seed oil - 3 tbsp
Tamarind juice - ½ cup
Tomato puree - 1 cup
Turmeric - ¼ tsp
Garlic, whole - 4 nos
Red chillies, whole - 4 nos
Heat sesame oil in a earthen pot or pan and when it is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, whole red chillies, little fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, garlic, green chillies, curry leaves, onion paste and turmeric. Mix well and cook for a minute.
Add ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw flavours are gone. Once the masala is cooked, add chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, tomato puree, little water, tamarind juice and cook for about 30 minutes covering the pot with a lid.
Add fish, put on the lid and cook for another 5 minutes on simmer. Serve with hot rice.
Tip: Fish kozhambhu is ready and if you eat it next day it tastes like heaven because the fish get soaked in the gravy. Mostly all fishes are high in protein, low-fat food; provide good vitamins with less carbohydrate and cholesterol that provides a range of health benefits.
They are also rich in iron, calcium and fish contains Omega 3 which is good for proper functioning of heart. Fish makes a wonderful addition to any healthy and nutritious diet and is always better than eating meat or poultry. So making a Fish kulambu as per your choice that is hot and spicy balanced with the right amount of spices, tamarind pulp rather than overpowering the dish will always be a delicacy to hit your taste buds.
Fish in Tamrind curry is a distinctive versatile blend of spices to create a traditional gourmet meal enrapturing your taste buds with the vibrant and sizzling taste of the south Indian flavours.
Check out the video and enjoy cooking our Meen Kulambu: