The peninsular Southern India has a long coast on its eastern side bordering the Bay of Bengal and so we get a wide variety of sea food like fish, crab and prawns in Tamil Nadu. Meen Columbu or fish curry is one of the most traditional fish dishes made in Tamil Nadu and other southern states. Most varieties of fish can be used to make this dish. Preferences vary from region to region.
For non-vegetarians, fish is a healthy food containing omega-3 fatty acids which reduce bad cholesterol. Fish is also rich in protein.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Fish : any fish 250 grams.
Small onions (shallots) – 75 grams
Cloves garlic -8 nos
Tomato -2 nos or 50 grams
Tamarind – one lime size piece
Turmeric powder – half teaspoon
Coriander powder - one teaspoon
Mustard seed -half a teaspoon
Fennel seeds (methi) – half a teaspoon
Oil -1 table spoon
Coconut gratings -2 table spoon
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs.
Method: Wash and clean fish thoroughly. Soak tamarind in warm water and squeeze the pulp. Coconut gratings must be ground to a fine paste. Chop onion finely.
Heat a pan and pour oil. First add the mustard seeds and when it splutters, add fennel seeds. Then add the finely chopped onions and whole garlic. When the onions turn golden yellow, add the curry leaves and chopped tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes. Then you can add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and the tamarind pulp. Add a cup of water and half a teaspoon salt and allow the curry to boil a few minutes. When the curry is boiling, add the cleaned fish pieces along with the coconut paste. After adding the fish, allow the curry to simmer for a few minutes.
Tips: Unlike meat, fish takes only a few minutes to cook. For fish curry, even the fish heads can be used.