This is a very traditional non-veg recipe.You all heard about the hot spicy tangy South Indian fish curry.We used to buy fresh alive viral meen (butterfish) in India , that tastes heavenly.But I can’t find those here.I learnt this recipe from my dear mom and I loved it and tried it a lot many times.You can use any type of fish to prepare this curry.I tried this kulambu with sankara meen (red snpper) , salmon ,sea bass (koduvai) .This time my hubby bought sprats.I like the little fishes and the taste is also good. We had with of course salmon fry.Lets see the preparation….
Sprats – 1/2 kg
Tamarind – a lemon sized ball ( app 50gms )
Mustard seeds / Kadugu – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal / Ulunthamparuppu – 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds / Venthayam – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Salt to taste
Oil – 3 tbsp
For the Masala
Onion – 1 1/2 chopped / Shallots – 12
Fennel seeds / Sombu – 1tsp
Cumin seeds / Jeeragam – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder / Manjal thool – 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder / Milagai thool – 2 tsp ( adjust as per your spice level)
Coriander powder / Kothamalli thool – 2 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Coconut – grated 1 cup
Oil – 1 tsp
Soak the tamarind in hot water for 8-10 mins .Squeeze the pulp with your hands and strain the juice and set it aside.
Clean the sprats.Cut the head and tail and throw away.Make a slit in the center (easily done using hands) and take out the inner black guts and rinse the fish with lots of water.
Preparation of Masala
Grab your ingredients.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a kadai , add cumin and fennel seeds.When it crackles add the curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
Add the onions and fry till colour change (will take 4-5 mins).And switch off the flame.
Add the coriander powder and mix well.
Let it cool down to room temperature and grind it with the coconut to a fine paste.
Combine the masala with the tamarind extract and mix well.Add in the turmeric and chilly powders and give it a good mix.Now the masala is ready.
Preparation of Gravy / Kulambu
Heat oil in a kadai and splutter the mustard seeds ,urad dal and fenugreek seeds.Add the curry leaves and fry for few seconds.Now pour in the masala with enough water (make it watery as it will thickens while boiling).
Add required salt and allow it to boil for 7-8 mins.
Now reduce to medium flame and partially cover it and allow to boil till the raw flavour of the masala and tamarind goes off and the oil separates at the edges of the pan ( will take app 25-30 mins).
Now throw in the cleaned sprats and let it boil for 3 more mins and switch off.
Serve with steamed rice.
I served with Salmon Fish Fry
- The tanginess depends on the tamarind you are using.Some may be so tangy so adjust it by tasting .
- Don’t over cook the fish(less than 5 mins is enough) then it may get dissolved.
- Normally the next day fish curry tastes wonderful as all the flavours are absorbed completely.