Chettinad Fish Curry – Chettinad meen kuzhambu

Chettinad is one of the famous Tamilnadu cuisines. They are so good in their own way. I love their fresh aromatic spice blend that makes the dish so yummy. I love their style of foods especially vegetarian and mutton recipes. Have also tasted their fish recipes in some hotels and have had it tried at home as well. One such favorite Chettinad recipe is this fish curry. I have used Sheri fish(vala meen). You can use any fleshy fish for this Curry. It also tastes yummy with Idli, dosa or chapati

I have also posted many other fish recipes. So check them too.

Let’s see how to make this fish curry.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 40 mins

Serves: 4 – 5


For Marinating

Fish – 750 g

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1 tsp

For Roasting and Grinding

Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp

Peppercorns – 1 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp

Shallots – 15 to 20 nos

Tomato – 1(medium-sized, chopped)

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 2 tbsp

Red chilli powder – 1 to 1.5 tbsp (adjust to your taste)

Grated coconut – 1/2 cup

Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

For curry

Gingelly oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Dried red chilli – 3 nos

Garlic – 1 tbsp(sliced)

Ginger – 1 tbsp(sliced)

Shallots – 1/4 cup (sliced)

Tamarind – a lemon size

Salt to taste


1.Clean the fish pieces and wash them well. Then marinate it with turmeric powder and salt. Keep it aside.

2. Soak tamarind in water. Let it soak well and extract the juice.

3. In a pot, heat oil. Add fenugreek seeds. Let them splutter. Then add peppercorns, Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds.

4. Add shallots. Saute them well until it the shallots get light golden. Add the chopped tomatoes,. Cook until the tomatoes get mushy. Then add Turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Coriander powder and mix them well in low flame or else the masala may get burnt.

5. Add the grated coconut. Saute them well with the masala for about 5 mins. Also, add some curry leaves. Switch off the flame, allow it to cool down, then add them to a Grinding jar and grind them finely adding water.

6. Heat oil in a pot. Then add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Let them splutter. Add dried red chillies, curry leaves, ginger, garlic and shallots. Fry them to golden. Then add the ground masala to it and mix well.

7. Add tamarind juice as required. Also, add water as required. I added totally 2 cups of tamarind extract and water. Add salt as required. Cover and cook. Allow it to boil well. Then add the marinated fish to it. Then cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes in low flame.

Chettinad style fish curry is ready. Serve with Rice.

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