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Chettinad fish gravy | How to make chettinad meen kulambu

Chettinad fish gravy | How to make chettinad meen kulambu

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Chettinad fish gravy is an authentic chettinad cuisine fish curry, prepared by marinating red snapper (sankara) or any kind of fish in spices and cooked in a tamarind based gravy. I prepared this fish gravy using sankara fish in chettinad style and it turned out yummy:D..

My hubby likes all kind of fish preparations I make. But this one is my all-time favorite. I just love the tanginess of tamarind sauce added. There are many types of fish gravies in India from tomato based, coconut based, white gravy to Chennai style fish curry. But this chettinad style gravy is always special because of the ingredients used. And like any other chettinad recipes this tastes great and comes top in the chettinad food menu.

Freshly ground spices give excellent aroma to this gravy and one will drool ๐Ÿ˜‰ simply by the sight of this yummy thin sankara meen kulambu with hot rice. If you like thick fish curry, add little extra coconut. It goes well with idli and dosas also. Tastes heavenly the second day ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Chettinad fish gravy | How to make chettinad meen kulambu

Sangskitchen
Chettinad fish gravy is an authentic chettinad cuisine fish curry, prepared by marinating red snapper (sankara) or any kind of fish in spices and cooked in a tamarind based gravy. How to make this fish curry with step wise pictures explained here.
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Marination time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 120 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • Sankara fish โ€“ ยฝ kg (Red snapper or any fish)
  • Shallots/Small onions - 6
  • Tomato โ€“ 1
  • Tamarind โ€“ 1 lemon size
  • Curry leaves โ€“ few
  • Chilli powder โ€“ 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder โ€“ ยฝ tsp
  • Stone/rock salt โ€“ 1 tbs

To saute and grind(fish masala paste):

  • Gingelly oil โ€“ 1tbs
  • Red Chilli โ€“ 6 to 8
  • Coriander seeds โ€“ 2 tsp
  • Saunf/sombu โ€“ 1 tsp
  • Cumin/jeera seeds โ€“ 1 tsp
  • Methi seeds โ€“ ยฝ tsp
  • Black Pepper corn โ€“ 1 tsp
  • Shallots โ€“ 8
  • Garlic pods โ€“ 6
  • Coconut grated โ€“ ยฝ cup (120g)

To temper:

  • Gingelly oil โ€“ 2 tbs
  • Fenugreek/methi seeds โ€“ 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon โ€“ 2inches stick
  • Fennel seeds/sombu โ€“ 1 tsp

Instructions
 

Preparation:

    How to wash the fish:

    • Wash the pieces thoroughly under running tap water.
    • Remove all the scales properly with the back(blunt side) of knife.
    • Drain water completely, apply little turmeric and salt and keep them aside. This way the impurities are killed if any on the skin area.
    • This is sort of half marination and you need not wash it again.

    Other preparation:

    • Chop shallots.
    • Peel garlic pods.
    • Wash and chop tomatoes.
    • Grate coconut.
    • Soak tamarind in warm water.

    Recipe to prepare Sankara meen kulambhu | Red snapper gravy | Chettinad fish curry:

      Making fish masala paste:

      • Heat oil in a shallow frying pan or kadai.
      • Add coriander/dhaniya seeds, red chillies, methi seeds, sombu, jeera,pepper corns one by one and roast them in medium flame.
      • Roast them until you get nice aroma. Remove from the pan and let them cool.
      • Now in the same pan with the left over oil fry onions and garlic pods.
      • Fry onion and garlic till golden brown color.
      • Add coconut grated and fry for a minute.
      • Take onion, garlic and coconut mixture separately.
      • Grind the roasted spices into powder in a mixie and add onion mixture to the same jar. Add some water and grind it to a paste. Fish masala is ready.

      How to make gravy:

      • Heat a big deep kadai. Add gingelly oil.
      • Add the items under temper.
      • Add small onions, garlic and curry leaves. Fry them until golden brown color achieved.
      • Add chopped tomatoes and fry till they become soft.
      • Add turmeric.
      • Add chilli powder.
      • Filter tamarind juice and add it in. Discard the pulp. Let it boil for five minutes till raw flavor of tamarind goes off.
      • Now add the fish masala we prepared. Mix well.
      • Add enough water to achieve correct consistency of the gravy.
      • Add salt.
      • Close the lid and let the gravy boil for ten minutes.
      • After ten minutes the gravy is cooked well and the entire raw flavor of tamarind is gone. See the oil floating on top.
      • Now drop fish pieces one by one carefully into the gravy. Drop the pieces without crowding separately.
      • Do not mix with ladle or spatula.
      • Keep in medium flame immediately and close the lid.
      • Cooking time for any kind of fish is very less. Less than five mins for most of the fish varieties.
      • After 3 to 5 minutes open and check. The color of the flesh will turn white. This means it is cooked. Switch off and leave undisturbed for 30 mins.
      • Serve with hot steamed rice.

      Notes

      Tips/notes: 1) Do not overcook fish as the pieces will break. 2) Stays good for two to three days in fridge. 3) Tastes great the next day. 4) Adjust the tamarind quantity based on the type of tamarind you get. 5) Garam masala is not required foe this curry as fish has its own unique flavor. 6) Adding fenugreek is an important step for any tamarind based gravy.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 120kcal
      Keyword Chettinad fish gravy
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

      Preparation:

         How to wash the fish:

      • Wash the pieces thoroughly under running tap water.
      • Remove all the scales properly with the back(blunt side) of knife.
      • Drain water completely, apply little turmeric and salt and keep them aside. This way the impurities are killed if any on the skin area.
      • This is sort of half marination and you need not wash it again.

         Other preparation:

      • Chop shallots.
      • Peel garlic pods.
      • Wash and chop tomatoes.
      • Grate coconut.
      • Soak tamarind in warm water.

      Recipe to prepare Sankara meen kulambhu | Red snapper gravy | Chettinad fish curry:

         Making fish masala paste:

      • Heat oil in a shallow frying pan or kadai. 
      • Add coriander/dhaniya seeds, red chillies, methi seeds, sombu, jeera,pepper corns one by one and roast them in medium flame.

      heat-kadai-add-ingredients

      • Roast them until you get nice aroma. Remove from the pan and let them cool.
      • Now in the same pan with the left over oil fry onions and garlic pods.

      Onions

      • Fry onion and garlic till golden brown color.
      • Add coconut grated and fry for a minute.

      onion-garlic-coconut

      • Take onion, garlic and coconut mixture separately.
      • Grind the roasted spices into powder in a mixie and add onion mixture to the same jar. Add some water and grind it to a paste. Fish masala is ready.

      fried-ingredients grinding mixie-2 masala-paste

         How to make gravy:

      • Heat a big deep kadai. Add gingelly oil.
      • Add the items under temper.

      tempering

      • Add small onions, garlic and curry leaves. Fry them until golden brown color achieved.

      saute-onion

      • Put chopped tomatoes and fry till they become soft.

      saute-tomato

      • Add turmeric.
      • Now chilli powder.

      turmeric-powder chilli-powder

      • Filter tamarind juice and add it in. Discard the pulp. Let it boil for five minutes till raw flavor of tamarind goes off.

       tamarind-juice  add-tamarind

      • Now add the fish masala we prepared. Mix well.

      fish-masala

      • Add enough water to achieve correct consistency of the gravy.
      • Add salt.

      add-salt

      • Close the lid and let the gravy boil for ten minutes.
      • After ten minutes the gravy is cooked well and the entire raw flavor is gone. See the oil floating on top.

      oil-floats-ontop

      • Now drop fish pieces one by one carefully into the gravy. Drop the pieces without crowding separately.

      add-fish

      • Do not mix with ladle or spatula.
      • Keep in medium flame immediately and close the lid.
      • Cooking time for any kind of fish is very less. Less than five mins for most of the fish varieties. 
      • After 3 to 5 minutes open and check. The color of the flesh will turn white. This means it is cooked. Switch off and leave undisturbed for 30 mins.

      gravy

      • Serve with hot steamed rice.

      title-image

      Tips/notes:

      • Do not overcook fish as the pieces will break.
      • Stays good for two to three days in fridge.
      • Tastes great the next day.
      • Adjust the tamarind quantity based on the variety.
      • Garam masala not required as fish has unique flavor.
      • Adding fenugreek is an important step for any tamarind based gravy.
      • You can use kudampuli also instead of normal tamarind.

      8 Comments

      1. Very good recipe ????

      2. Thank you

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      7. 4 stars
        Tried it. Awesome. After ages I cooked fish curry the way I wanted to eat. I used black pomfret.
        A.tip: if you are going to eat the very next day too, you don’t have to keep it in the fridge. I made for lunch. Slightly warmed it in the night and the next morning. It tasted better than when kept in fridge.

      8. Thank you for the feedback Priya. I am glad you liked the recipe!!
        And yes I totally agree with your tip, I do the same with tamarind based fish curries ๐Ÿ™‚ as my mom does.

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