Thursday 8 March 2012

Fish Coconut Gravy | Thengai Meen Kulambu | South Indian Fish Curry | Barracuda Fish Curry | Seela Meen Kulambu

Fish curries are one among the frequently prepared curies at our home. As our native is a coastal town we get all kind of fish varieties at all seasons, and so fish curries were always among the routine. Specially fish curry with coconuts has been a regular one at my home whereas the one's without coconuts is an occasional one.  Its because, coconuts gives the curry a rich taste and thicker consistency making this curry an excellent one to go for. With steaming hot rice this coconut fish curry makes a wonderful pair. Usually the side-dishes served along with fish curry and rice are fish fry and some vegetable poriyal or kootu; and it has always been a satisfying platter. This one is very easy to prepare and you can use any fish of your choice. Lets see how to make this mouth-watering, tangy, mildly spiced gravy!! Do make a note here; you can alter spiciness and tangy flavor according to your wish!!


Serves 3 to 4 people
Total Preparation Time - 30 minutes
  1. Fish slices - 8 - 10 pieces or 500 Grams (Any fish of your choice; I used barracuda/seela)
  2. Coconut - One half (grate or chop it into smaller pieces)
  3. Tamarind - 2 inch sized ball 
  4. Tomato - 2 (small ones; optional)
  5. Big onions - 1 (sliced/chopped) 
  6. Garlic pods - 3 
  7. Curry leaves - From 3 sprigs
  8. Red chilli powder - 2 tablespoons 
  9. Coriander Powder/Dhania Powder - 3 tablespoons
  10. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon 
  11. Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
  12. Peppercorns - 1 tablespoon
  13. Mustard - 1 teaspoon
  14. Fenugreek seeds /Vendhayam - 1 teaspoon (plus 1/4 teaspoon for tempering)
  15. Salt - As per taste
  16. Gingelly oil - 4 tablespoons 
(set aside a spoon of chopped onions and some curry leaves for tempering) 


Fine Coconut Paste
  • Wash the fish pieces well in water. Then marinate the fish pieces using salt and turmeric powder and leave it aside for 10 to 20 minutes and wash again.
  • Make a very fine paste of the following; (A good fish curry needs a very fine coconut paste, this is a basic trick and tip)
    Grated Coconut + Cumin seeds + Peppercorns (optional)
  • Soak tamarind in water for 10 minutes, after ten minutes mash the soaked tamarind well using fingers and extract the juice. Discard the pulp. To this tamarind water add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, coconut paste and mix well. Set aside. 
  • Now in a pan add oil, after it heats up add mustard, fenugreek seeds, crushed or chopped garlic, chopped onions, curry leaves and saute well. (If the fenugreek seeds gets burnt they will ruin the flavor of the fish curry so take care not to saute on high flame) 
  • Then add cubed tomatoes (optional) and salt, saute for a minute.
  • Now add the tamarind water and coconut paste mix into the pot and stir well. Cook on medium flame. 
  • When the curry starts boiling and gets bit thick, gently slide the fish slices into the gravy and leave it undisturbed. 
  • Let it cook for another 5 minutes or until the fish gets cooked.
  • For the tadka or seasoning: Place another pan on flame and add oil, after it heats up saute chopped onion (shallots optional), curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and saute. Do not burn it. Add this mixture immediately into the gravy and remove the pot from flame.
  • Set aside covered for sometime then serve!! The fish curr gets better by time, so take care to serve atleast an hour after preparing the curry. 
TIP 1: You can add some chopped tomatoes if you wish. Use smaller tomatoes that will be sour, if using them reduce tamarind. 

TIP 2: Use any fish kind; Specially Sardines (chaalai/mathi); Barracuda (sheela); will suit this curry best. 

Tasty coconut based fish curry is now ready!! Serve with hot rice, dosa or idli and enjoy!!

Check out some of my other fish recipes;
  1. Fish Cutlets / Fish Cakes (without breadcrumbs)
  2. Fish Pepper Masala
  3. Maasi Masala (Spicy Pounded Dry Fish Masala)
  4. Spicy Chilli Fish (Indian Style)
  5. Chettinad Fish Fry (Using Red Snapper)
  6. Spicy Tangy Red Snapper Curry
  7. Fish Manchurian
  8. Raw Mango Fish Curry
  9. Viral Meen Kulambu
  10. Fish Puttu (Steamed & Shredded Fish Stir Fry)
  11. Sheela Fish Fry (Simple Barracuda Fish Fry)
  12. Fish Kuruma
  13. Mathi Meen Kulambu (Indian Sardines Fish Curry)
  14. Crispy Fish Fry
  15. Karuvadu Masala (Spicy Dry Fish Masala)
  16. Fish Fry  (Using egg and roasted gram powder)
  17. Fish Fry  (Simple one)
  18. Fish Fry (Without ginger-garlic paste)
  19. Nethili Fish Fry
  20. Fish Gravy Without Coconut
  21. Fish Coconut Gravy 
  22. Mathi / Chala Meen Fry (Sardines fry)

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