1.There won't be any coconut paste in chennai fish curry. Fish curry will smell just like fish curry, the way I like it very much:)
2.Chennai fish curry should have more fish pieces and it will give a strong fish flavor.Use any chunky fish pieces like king fish.
3. Madras / chennai meen kuzhambu needs lot of onion and tomato with lesser tamarind. Chennai people won't make fish curry without tomato, whereas others care less for tomato.
4.If needed chennai people would add little coconut milk extract (very rarely), but not the ground coconut masala.
5. Any cooking oil like peanut oil, sunflower oil or sesame oil can be used in chennai fish curry, while village style south fish curry demands sesame oil only.
|Salmon fish in Indian curry.|
|Salmon and Evoo in Madras meen kulambu. Any chunky fish like King fish and peanut oil are traditionally used there.|
|Tangy spicy Madras style fish curry.|
King fish / salmon - 1/2 kg (1 lb)
Tamarind - 1 small lemon size
red onion - 2 (medium big)
garlic - 10 cloves
tomato puree (3 crushed) - 3/4 cup
red chilly powder - 1 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tbsp
turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
curry leaf - 2 sprigs
oil - 3 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
fenugreek seed (venthayam / methi) - 1 tsp
cumin seed - 1 tsp
sea salt - 2 tsp (as per taste)
green chilly - 2
* Soak tamarind in warm water along with salt. Extract juice using 2 cups of water.
Put coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, salt in the tamarind extract. Keep aside.
* Clean the fish in water and cut into medium size pieces. Sprinkle some salt, turmeric powder and let it marinate till we prepare the curry (15 minutes).
* Chop onion very finely. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin. As soon as mustard starts crackling, add curry leaves, finely chopped onion and saute till onion turns soft and mild red.
Then add the crushed tomato (chop them finely and squeeze with hands) and saute till the oil shows up. Put the peeled chopped garlic and saute for a few seconds.
* Then pour the tamarind extract, slit green chilly. Bring it to a boil. let it boil for 5 minutes in medium heat till raw smell goes.
* Then add the fish pieces. Cook covered in very low heat till curry gets little thick (10 minutes). Don't stir in between. If needed gently shake. Switch off.
Chennai fish curry is ready!
Serve hot as curry over rice.
The usual side dish for meen kulambu and rice are fried fish, omelet, ripe mango pieces.
I have used extra virgin olive oil and salmon instead of the traditional ingredients as I had that in hand on that day and we liked the curry very much. Salmon tasted similar to King fish:)
Add a tsp of jaggery (brown sugar)before switching off, if it needs lesser sourness.