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Meen Kuzhambu: Tangy and Spicy Village-Style Fish Curry

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Meen kuzhambu

Meen kuzhambu

Indian Seafood Curry

Meen kuzhambu is a mouthwatering curry dish that you can make with just a few very simple ingredients. In villages, they used to make this curry in a mud pot, which elevates the taste of this curry a thousand times.

Cooking Notes:

  • If you can't find kuzhambu milagai thool in your local market, you may substitute chilli powder and coriander powder as per your taste.
  • The type of fish I used in this curry is red snapper (sankara meen), but you can use any variety of saltwater fish that is available in your region.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

20 min

30 min

4 to 5 people

Red snapper

Red snapper

Prepared ingredients

Prepared ingredients

Kuzhambu milagai thool

Kuzhambu milagai thool


  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • 1 lemon-sized tamarind
  • 5 tablespoons kuzhambu milagai thool/kulambu chilli masala
  • 500 grams saltwater fish, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Soak the tamarind in water for 30 minutes and extract the juice. Add kuzhambu chilli masala, salt, some onions, and tomatoes. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the remaining onions and curry leaves. Saute until the onions become glossy; then, add the tomatoes and saute again until they turn mushy.
  3. Add the tamarind mix into the pan and cover with a lid. Allow it to boil over medium heat until the raw smell of tamarind dissipates (around 15 minutes).
  4. Add the fish pieces and let it cook for another 3 minutes. If it boils beyond 3 minutes, the fish will crumble.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes. After that, serve the curry with some hot rice and enjoy your meal.