Meen Kulambu

Well, thought I will end the series of fish recipes for the time being with this one. Meen Kulambu is like the most basic fish preparation in most Tamil homes. Its one of the best things one could eat on a rainy day. A couple of papads, a slice of fish fry and meen kulambu with steaming hot rice would just make my day!


  • 500 gms fish of your choice sliced
  • 5 tbs gingelly oil
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1/2 cup garlic cloves
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 or 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs mustard seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tamarind juice
  • 1/2 tbs turmeric powder
  • 1 tbs red chilly powder
  • 3 tbs coriander powder
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt to taste
  • In a large vok, pour the oil. When medium hot, add the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the onions, garlic and green chillies. Saute until onion turns golden brown.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes. Lower the flame, cover the vok and allow the tomatoes to get cook for 5 minutes.
  • Take 3/4 portion of the sauteed onion-tomato mixture, grind it into a paste and add paste back to the vok.
  •  To this add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder, salt and curry leaves. Saute in low flame for a couple of minutes until the oil rises above.
  • Pour the tamarind paste and water over the sauteed mixture. Give it a stir and allow it to boil.
  • When it comes to a boil, lower the flame again and add the fish slices. Cover the vok and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  
  • Once the fish is cooked and the kulambu is of a good consistency, turn off the flame and enjoy a yummy lunch!

Mint Fish Fry

As I promised, here’s another fish recipe. This one is very easy, quick and tasty to eat. I vaguely remembered watching a similar preparation on TV and have been wanting to try it out ever since. But got a chance only last week!


  • 500 gms palm size fish of your choice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 4 tbs ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Wash the mint and coriander leaves well and make it a fine paste.
  • Marinate the fish with the prepared paste, ginger-garlic paste and salt for 10 minutes.
  • Shallow fry it.

Balti Fish in Spicy Coconut

A kindhearted friend of mine recently lent me her cook book – The Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Shehzad Husain and Rafi Fernandez. Its an amazing book with simple recipes and detailed, step-by-step pictorial representation for each dish. I am a person who can drool over just a picture of food. So you can imagine my love for this book.

Here’s the first dish I prepared from this book:


  • 5 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp onion seeds
  • 5 dried red chilies
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 4 pieces of fish (I have used vanjaram)
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tbs fresh coriander, chopped
  • Heat the oil in a deep round frying pan. Lower the heat slightly and add the onion seeds, dried red chillies, garlic slices and onion. Saute until onion turns a little golden brown.
  • Add the tomatoes, coconut, salt and coriander powder. Stir thoroughly and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Drop the fish pieces into the mixture and turn them over gently until they are well coated.
  • Cook fpr 5-7 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary. Add the lime juice and fresh coriander leaves and cook further for 5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with rice.