Chettinad Fish Curry / Chettinad Meen Kulambu


When it comes to the name chettinad, it is a blend of spices induced in the curry to give more flavor, delicious taste and attractive color. You can prepare this curry with any variety of fish; I have prepared this with Cod / Panna. Let us move on to the recipe…

Chettinad Fish Curry / Chettinad Meen Kulambu

Chettinad Fish Curry / Chettinad Meen Kulambu


  • Fish – 1 kg
  • Onions – 2 nos
  • Tomato – 1 no
  • Chili powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Coriander power – 3 tsp
  • Fennel seeds / Perunjeeragam – 1 ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Coconut pieces – 200 gms
  • Coriander leaves – garnishing
  • Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves – a string
  • Cinnamon – 1 “inch stick
  • Cardamom – 1 no
  • Cloves – 3 nos
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Shallots – 10 nos
  • Tamarind – a gooseberry size
  • Garlic – 4 cloves


  • Clean and chop the fish to desired shapes.
  • Marinate the fish pieces, with ¼ tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1 ½ tsp of coriander powder and salt for 20 mins.
  • Peel and finely chop the shallots/sambhar onion and keep it aside.
  • Peel and roughly chop the onions and tomatoes.
  • Prepare the tamarind extract.
  • Heat two tsp of oil in a kadai, add in the chopped onions and tomatoes, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cook them until they become mushy. Transfer it to a plate and keep it aside.
  • Take fennel seeds, leftover chili powder and coriander powder, fried onion tomatoes, coconut pieces in a blender and grind together to a fine paste.
  • Heat rest of the oil in the same kadai, add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, methi seeds and curry leaves. Wait until they crackle.
  • Add in the shallots and garlic, cook until they turn golden brown.
  • Pour in the grounded masala and cook them until the raw smell goes off.
  • Pour in the tamarind extract, cover with the lid and bring it to boil.
  • Add in the marinated fish to the curry, cover and cook until the fish is cooked.
  • Remove the lid, keep in medium flame until the oil separates and floats on the top of the curry.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot. I have accompanied this fish curry with Brinjal Lentil Stir-Fry and Plantain Blossom / Vazhaipoo Stir-Fry.


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