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17th February 2019

Vaaval Meen Kuzhambu

Vaaval Meen Kuzhambu is Tamilian for Pomfret Fish Curry. Tamilians love their rice and curry. They make ample use of whole spices and tamarind to cook yummy food. I have used pomfrets to cook this kuzhambu but you can use other fish also. Seer Fish [Kingfish] goes very well this curry.

Serves: A Family of Four

Prep. Time: 15 Mins.

Cooking Time: 18 to 20 Mins.


[Standard Measure – 1 cup = 200 ml.]

  • White Pomfret – 1 (350 gms.)
  • Shallots (peeled & halved) – 16 to 18
  • Garlic (peeled & halved)– 8 cloves
  • Curry Leaves – 8 to 10
  • Tamarind (soaked in 1 cup hot water) – 1 lime sized ball
  • Coconut (grated) – 4 to 5 tbsp.
  • Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp.
  • Fennel Seeds – ¾ tsp.
  • Fenugreek Seeds – ¾ tsp.
  • Red Chilly Powder (pref. South Indian spicy variety) – 2 tsp.
  • Corriander Powder – 2 ½ tsp.
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp.
  • Salt – 1 ½ tsp.

Step 1:     Clean and cut the fish into pieces. Wash and drain well. Apply 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. turmeric and leave aside.

Step 2:     Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed vessel and add the mustard, fennel, and fenugreek seeds. Also add the curry leaves and sauté of low heat for a minute. Next add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat till the shallots change to a light golden.

Step 3:     Add the red chilly powder, corriander powder and ½ tsp. turmeric powder and sauté for a minute or two on low heat. Mash and strain the tamarind pulp into the vessel. Add  1 ½ cups of warm water, ½ tsp. salt and let it come to a boil.

Step 4:     Meanwhile grind the coconut with ¼ cup water till fine. Add the ground coconut paste to the vessel and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and let it simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Now add the fish and let it simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes. Your kuzhambu is ready. Serve hot with hot rice.

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