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Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Karuvattu Kulambu (Dry Fish Curry)

 Published 2011-Mar-30   Updated 2018-May-02

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Karuvadu Kuzhambu, Karuvattu Kuzhambu, Dried Fish Curry, Karuvaatu Kulambu)

I had been to Nagapatanam, a sea shore town in South India.Till then I had seen fresh fish market where some sellers also have piles of dry fish. For the first time I witnessed Dry Fish Market. There were hundreds of varieties of dry fishes.To my surprise there were dry fishes for Vanjaram and some other yummy fishes I wanted to taste. I purchased some and tried out the Karuvaatu Kulambu (Dry Fish Curry) recipe shared by my friend.

I was never a fan of Dried Fish until I tasted this recipe. This curry includes a special kind of brinjal called Mullu kathirikai (green brinjals with thorns). It is the ideal one to make Karuvattu kulambu, imparting a unique taste. However you can use other varieties of brinjal too. I often buy dry fishes to make this Karuvattu Kulambu during weekends. The curry tastes even better the next day.

Dried fishes are rich in protein and they have no fat content. It is good for heart patients and asthma patients. It helps in speedy recovery for paralysis. It has omegha 3 fatty acid which is very essential for brain. It is a recommended food for pregnant ladies and for breastfeeding moms. Regular consumption slows down the aging process. It is good for bones and prevents osteoporosis. Today I am going to prepare Nethili karuvadu kuzhambu.

Recipe For Dry Fish Curry

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


  • Dried Fish - 1/2 lb (about 250 grams)
  • Shallot Onion - 5/ Onion - 1/2 (chopped)
  • Tomato - 1 (chopped)
  • Green Chillies - 2
  • Brinjals (Eggplant) - 3
  • Drumstick - 1
  • Raw Mango - 1/2
  • Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
  • Red Chilly Powder - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Tamarind Pulp - 1/4 cup
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - 2 springs


  1. Soak the dried fish in some water for about 10 minutes to remove salt.
  2. Drain the water and wash it thoroughly to remove any grits. Wash for 5-7 times until water runs clear.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
  4. Add the onions and green chillies and fry it golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes become mushy.
  5. Add the salt, turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder. Also add the chopped vegetables.
  6. Add the tamarind pulp and required water. Bring it to a boil. Cover and let it cook till the vegetables are almost cooked.
  7. Make a smooth paste of the coconut and add it to the gravy. Finally add the dried fish. Cover again and cook till the oil separates from the gravy.
  8. Switch off and let the gravy rest for at least 1 hour before serving.

Serving Karuvaatu Kulambu

  • Dry fish curry or karuvaatu kulambu is best when served with plain white rice. It is also an excellent combination with kambam choru.

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Comments (4)

Person   ()
Hai dols! I prepared the karuvattu kulambu. It was very nice.
Person   ()
Thank you Heltin.
Person   ()
Great recipe Dahlia. I was looking for a good recipe like this one. It came out very well.
Person   ()
Thanks Viveka.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2018-05-02.