This is a very common dish but I have so many memories and nostaligia associated with this dish. This is my all time favorite seafood dish and my mom used to make this very often for me, sometimes even thrice a week! Mixed with rice and a fried fish on side, this is the ultimate comfort food for me. Meen kuzumbu always reminds me of my grandma and her cooking. For me, the best seafood dishes I ever tasted are my grandma’s only. Whenever I taste meen kuzumbu or prepare it at home, I always compare notes with hers. I remember when I was a kid my mom used to coax us to having lunch saying that it was cooked by grandma and then we would go and sit in the dining table right away ;) This post is dedicated to my grandma who is right now in
- Small onions, 1 cup.
- Tomatoes, medium sized, 2.
- Fish slices, any type, around 5-6.
- Garlic, 3-4 cloves.
- Ginger-garlic paste 1 teaspoon.
- Tamarind, 1 lemon-sized ball.
- Chili powder, 2 teaspoons.
- Coriander powder, 2 tablespoons.
- Sambar powder, 1 teaspoon (optional).
- Turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon.
- Curry leaves for seasoning.
- Salt for taste.
- Vadakam for seasoning (optional).
- Mustard seeds for seasoning.
Clean and wash the fish well. Once the fish is cleaned, add ½ teaspoon of salt and the turmeric powder to the fish and mix everything well until all the slices are coated with the turmeric mixture. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Extract thick tamarind juice from the tamarind and dice the onions and tomatoes into small pieces. The small onions can also be left as whole. Heat a pan with some sesame oil. When the oil is hot enough, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the vadakam and fry for a few seconds and then add chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes until the onions turn brown. Add the tomatoes, curry leaves, garlic cloves, and ginger-garlic paste and keep sautéing until everything is blended. Add the powders one bye one and keep frying on a low flame with another tablespoon of oil until good smell comes from the mixture. Add the tamarind juice and salt and cook closed in medium flame for 10-12 minutes and the gravy starts to thicken. At this stage, add the fish slices and let the gravy cook for 5 more minutes until the fish is cooked. Once the fish is cooked, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice, idlis or dosas.