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Chettinad Meen Kuzhambu without coconut | Chettinad Fish Curry|FishRecipes

Authentic Meen Kuzhambu recipe without coconut in Chettinad style
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Non-Veg
Cuisine: South Indian
Author: Kalyani


  • Small onions - 200 gms or 1/2 cup loosely packed
  • Tamarind - 1 big lemon sized
  • Tomato - 2 medium sized
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
  • Garlic - 3 cloves
  • Red chilli powder - 1 Tsp
  • Crystal salt - 2 Tsp

To Temper

  • Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 2 sprig

To Marinate

  • Fish pieces - 350 gm I have used Sheela fish
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Rock Salt - 1/2 Tsp

To roast and grind

  • Sesame oil - 1 Tsp
  • Red chillies - 8
  • Coriander seeds - 4 tsp
  • Black peppercorns - 1/2 Tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 2 sprigs



  • Wash the fish pieces well and marinate with turmeric powder and rock salt and keep at least half an hour outside or keep in the refrigerator for one hour. Soak the tamarind in warm water for ten minutes and extract the juice. Keep aside. Peel small onions. Make ginger garlic paste in a mortar and pestle using ginger and garlic. Chop the tomatoes roughly and slit the green chillies. Keep all the ingredients ready.
  • Roast red chillies, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, curry leaves and fennel seeds in a tsp of oil until nice aroma comes and grinds with water to make a coarse paste. Kuzhambu masala is ready. Set this aside.


  • Heat a kadai with oil and add the items to temper. Once mustard cracks, add curry leaves and saute for a minute. Add small onions and green chillies now & fry it well for 5 minutes.
  • Once the small onions become brown here and there, add tomatoes in and fry it till turns mushy and soft.
  • Once tomatoes become soft, add the ground kuzhambu masala paste, red chilli powder and ginger garlic paste. Fry them until the raw smell leaves from the masala for 5 minutes. Then add the tamarind water along with salt. Mix everything for a minute. Adjust with water if needed.
  • Boil the Kuzhambu in medium flame for 10 to 15 minutes or until the raw smell completely leaves and the curry becomes little thick. Then add the fish pieces in and cook it for 5 more minutes and switch off the flame once the fish pieces are cooked well. Fish cooks faster so switch off the stove accordingly.


Serving: 3g