Garlic Fish Curry / Poondu Meen Kulambu


Fish curry is delicious in Tamil cuisine, with mild tanginess and spiciness. I have shared few fish curries but this one is little different than all the others, since I have induced garlic and small / pearl onions. Pearl onions and garlic has their own taste and when combined with this curry gives a delicious taste and attractive color.

Garlic Fish Curry / Poondu Meen Kulambu had mild tanginess, spiciness and little sweetness. I have used Seer Fish / Vanjaram Meen, you can also use king fish (fish with less bones goes out well for this curry).

Health benefits of Seer Fish: Seer fish / Vanjaram Meen are very good source of Omega 3 fatty acids which helps keep arteries open and allow blood flow smoothly. Also Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory effects which helps in sinus, osteoporosis and arthritis.

How to select the best Seer Fish: The fish should have dark flesh or muscle, also the color of the fish indicates the oil content in the fish. Always go for a fat Seer fish which has less fat whereas the lean and pale fish has lots of fat.

Do check out my other Seafood recipes in this link:

Let us move on to the recipe…


  • Seer Fish / Vanjaram Meen – ½ kg
  • Pearl Onions / Small Onions – 25 nos
  • Garlic – 1 ½ pods (medium sized)
  • Green chilies – 1 no
  • Tomato – 1 ½ nos
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Tamarind – a lemon size
  • Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – for garnishing
  • Curry leaves – a sprig
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp.


  • Clean and chop the fish into slices and marinate them with ¼ tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, salt and ½ tsp of lemon juice for about 20 mins.
  • Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic.
  • Chop the tomatoes into fine pieces and slit the green chilies into two equal halves.
  • Prepare Tamarind extract.
  • Heat oil in a kadhai, add in the mustard and cumin seeds along with curry leaves. Wait until they crackle.
  • Add in the finely chopped onion, garlic and green chilies, cook for few mins until they turn golden brown.
  • Add in the tomatoes and cook for few mins until they turn mushy.
  • Add all the leftover spice powders and cook for few mins, until the raw smell goes off.
  • Pour in the tamarind extract, cover and let it boil.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, cover and let it boil for few mins until the raw smell goes off.
  • Drop the fish pieces gently in to the curry, cover and cook until the fish is 90 % cooked.
  • Remove the lid, keep in low flame and cook until the curry thickens and the oil floats on the top of the curry.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves, cover with lid, and remove the lid only before serving.

Serve hot with steamed rice for lunch.

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