Fish curry is a tangy and spicy curry which goes well with white rice, idly or dosa. Idly and fish curry (meen kulambu) is a famous combination in Southern part of India. They serve this combo for breakfast in many restaurants. Fish curry tastes great when it is served the next day because it gets soaked in tamarind and other spices and makes it delicious on the next day of cooking.
I have used Sardines/மத்தி மீன் for this recipe, but you can use any fish like sprats, kingfish, sea bass, sea bream, etc. Usually, fish curry is made with coconut, but this recipe is without coconut paste. Coconut paste gives a different taste to the curry. Some people use coconut milk in the curry, that gives totally different taste from coconut paste. I will share the other 2 recipes soon.
This is the fish we have used in this curry. Name of this fish is Sardines/மத்தி மீன். Sardines are an excellent source of calcium, minerals, protein and lower in mercury compare to other fish. Sardines are great for both curry and fry.
Check out the recipe video here:
Tips to make a good fish curry:
1. Adding tamarind is very important in fish curry. That enhances the entire taste.
2. Fish curry tastes great the next day of cooking.
3. Adding fish curry masala or kulambu masala is optional but it gives good taste to the curry.
4. Gingelly oil gives a very good flavour to the curry so try to use that.
5. If you don’t have shallots, use 2 finely chopped big onions.
Here is a detailed recipe for Sardines Fish Curry:
Take 50 ml oil in a pan/kadai, add 1 tsp mustard seeds and ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds and allow it to crackle.
Note: Adding gingelly oil gives a very good flavour to the curry.
Then add 1 cup shallots and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Now add 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste and cook till to remove the raw smell.
Note: If you don’t have shallots, use 2 big onions finely chopped.
Then add 2 finely chopped tomatoes and cook until they are mushy.
Add salt and saute well for 2 to 4 minutes.
Then add few curry leaves and 2 green chillies and mix well.
Add 2 tbsp chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp cumin powder, 2 tbsp coriander powder and 1 tbsp fish masala or kulambu powder and mix well the masala. Now add 1 cup of water and cover and cook the masala for 4 to 5 minutes.
Once masala is cooked well, add 1 cup tamarind water and mix and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then add fish one by one, add fish once the curry is cooked well because fish cooks fast. Once we add the fish, cook for 5 to 7 minutes (Don’t mix the curry after adding the fishes, fishes will break easily). Then add few more curry leaves (optional) and once oil separates from the gravy, add 2 tbsp coriander leaves.
Serve fish curry with rice, dosa or idly.
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