Other names: Indian sardine fish curry, saalai meen kuzhambu, chaala meen kulambu, mathi meen kulambu
|Fish platter: White rice, sardine fry , beans poriyal, chaala meen kulambu, boiled egg.|
|Chaalai meen kuzhambu|
|Indian sardine (mathi / chaalai meen)|
Sardine fish - 1 lb
sesame oil - 2 tbsp
mustard seeds- 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
Tamarind - 1 small keylime size
Red chilly powder -1.5 tsp
coriander powder- 3 tsp
turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
tomato - 1
green chillies - 2
curry leaves- 2 sprigs.
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
shallot - 8
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
wash the fish and remove all the fins and scales by a knife.
Slit along its stomach, cut off the gills and mouth. Retain or discard the head portion.
I suggest retaining the head, if we are buying fresh sardines.
Run your finger all through the slit portion to remove intestines and any wastes.
Rinse well twice or thrice till water runs clear.
Apply little turmeric powder , salt over the fish and keep aside.
Extract juice from tamarind and add chilli powder, coriander powder, pinch of turmeric powder, salt and mix well.Keep aside.
Heat the sesame oil in vessel. (Fish curry prepared in earthen vessel tastes good).Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. After the mustard seeds crackle add the curry leaves .
Then add finely chopped tomato and saute till oil separates.
Add tamarind juice mixture and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Then add the finely ground coconut-onion paste.
Immediately after this starts boiling , reduce flame and wait till raw smell vaishes.
Add the fish.
cover the vessel partially to allow steam to go, reduce heat to minimum. Put the chopped green chillies and curry leaves.
Cook for 10 minutes in that low heat.
DO NOT stir the curry after adding the fish, otherwise you may end up with broken pieces. If needed gently shake the vessel, by holding the sides.
Serve hot with rice, Idly or dosai .
*Always use a shallow-wide vessel to make meen kulambu.
*Earthern vessels are traditionally used in my native place for preparing fish curry. If using earthern vessels (mann pathiram) then we keep a separate vessel for non veg, this is a traditional habit there.
*I don't know why, but my mom used to insist on preparing some greens (spinach) or any green vegetables like beans along with this kind of fish curry. So I too follow that :)
*The fish kulambu tastes better the next day and I love to have it with idly or bread for breakfast ....anytime:)