Tamil Fish Curry – Meen Pulli Kozhambu


  • skinless fish fillets (eg gurnard or snapper), cut into double bite sized pieces
  • 1 tspn ground turmeric
  • 2-3 tspn Kashmiri chilli powder (1-2 for marinade / 1 for curry)
  • 3 tbspn vegetable oil
  • 1 tspn black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tspn chilli flakes – more for hotter
  • 1/2 tspn fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • 125 ml tamarind water
  • 250 g tomato paste
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves, leaves picked (or frozen, chopped fine)
  • Method
  • Sprinkle the fish with the turmeric and 1-2 tspn Kashmiri chilli powder and set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add the mustard seeds and let them crackle for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the dried chilli flakes, fenugreek and cumin and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Add the onion and cook over low heat for approx 8 minutes or until the onion is softened but not browned.
  • Add the remaining 1 tspn Kashmiri chilli powder, coriander, cumin, tamarind, tomato paste and 250 ml of water – cook covered over low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes. Taste to ensure balance.
  • Add the fish and cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
  • Season with salt and serve garnished with the curry leaves.

Stolen from Ari, Sydney

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