- Submitted by Dahlia
(Kerala & Kanyakumari Fish Curry, South Indian Meen Kulambu, Varutharacha Meen Kuzhambu)
Jump to recipe ↓
When we say Fish Curry, a different picture comes into each ones mind. It depends on the place they live and the way they grew up tastng fish curry. In my house this is the fish curry that I make often and my family associates fish curry with this. All other types I specifically name them like Kerala Fish Curry, Karutha Curry, Fish Molee etc.
Though we call it as just fish curry, this is actually Varutharacha Meen Kuzhambu. The word varutharacha itself means roasted and ground. Here grated coconut is roasted and ground to a smooth paste. Fish pieces are cooked in a gravy of this roasted coconut, tamarind pulp and other spices. The colour and taste of this curry is very inviting.
This fish curry with roasted coconut has a thick gravy. It goes well with rice, roti, dosa or puttu. It is the first curry that I learnt and prepared after marriage. One of my aunt demonstrated this curry to me and I have stuck to the same method since then.
Recipe for Varutharacha Meen Kuzhambu
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Fish fillets - 1/2 kg (cut into pieces)
- Tomato - 1 (diced)
- Tamarind juice - ¼ cup (squeezed from lemon size tamarind)
- Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
- Red Chili powder - 2-3 tsp (to taste)
- Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
- Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
- Green chilly - 2 (slit)
- Salt - to taste
- Cilantro (Coriander leaves) - for garnish
- Optional (Split drumstick or pieces of raw mango can be added along with fish fillets)
- Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp
- Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Shallot Onion - 1 (chopped)
For roasting & grinding
- Coconut (grated) - 1/4 cup
- Pearl Onions - 4-5
- Garlic Cloves - 3
- Curry leaves - 4 leaves
- Red chilies - 3
- Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- Take a skillet and heat some oil in it. Now fry all the ingredients from 'For roasting & grinding'.
- Once the coconut becomes brown and a nice aroma starts coming, switch off the flame.
- Add the red chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder to this. The heat of the coconut will awaken the spices. Let it all cool together.
- After it cools, grind everything together with some water to form a very fine paste and keep aside.
- Now take a clay pot or deep vessel, heat some oil, splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Chop one shallot onion and fry till it becomes golden brown.
- Now add the tamarind juice, chopped tomatoes, salt along with the ground masala. Add water as required and bring it to a boil.
- Add the fish pieces, cover and cook for 10 - 15minutes on low-medium flame. The fish fillets are cooked when they become opaque and soft. The curry would have thickened by now.
- Garnish with fresh curry leaves, cilantro and split green chilies and keep it covered until ready to eat. Serve hot with white rice.
Detailed Steps to make Varutharacha Meen Kuzhambu
Take a skillet and heat some oil in it. Now fry all the ingredients from 'For roasting & grinding'.
After some time, the coconut becomes golden brown and a nice roasted aroma starts coming. Switch off and let it cool.
Add the red chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder to this. Mix together. The heat of the coconut will awaken the spices.
Let it all cool together.
After it cools, you can grind everything together. I add the chopped tomatoes with this and make a paste. Traditionally tomatoes are chopped and added to the curry. In my house, noone likes tomato pieces in curry, so I grind it with the masala.
Add required amount of water and grind it in a mixie to form a very fine paste.
Now take a clay pot or deep vessel, heat some oil, splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Add finely chopped shallot onion.
Fry till the onions become golden brown.
Next add the tamarind juice, salt and the ground masala paste.
Add required water and bring it to a boil.
Add the fish pieces, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes on medium flame.
The fish would have cooked and the curry thickened by now. You can see oil separating from the curry.
Switch off. Add fresh curry leaves, cilantro and split green chilies.
Keep it covered until ready to eat.
- Split drumstick and pieces of raw mango can be added along with fish fillets.
- For increasing the flavor, let the fish curry rest for 2 hours before serving. This will enable all the juices to be absorbed into the fish pieces.
Serving Fish Curry
- Serve this tasty fish curry made with roasted coconut with plain rice along with fried fish or vegetable side dish. It also goes well with chapathi or puttu.
More Fish Recipes