Karaikudi Fish Curry (Chettinadu Meen Kulambu)
Posted on October 4th, 2008 in Non-veg by

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Chettinad fish curry, Karaikudi meen kulambu, Tamilnadu fish gravy


  • Fish – 300 grams (Cut into big pieces)
  • Mustard seeds and Urad dal – 1/2 tspn
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Onion – 1 (small size) or 1/2 of a medium size onion
  • Green Chili – 1
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tspn
  • Tomato – 1
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tspn
  • Tamarind – small gooseberry size
  • Sugar – less than 1/4 tspn or to ur taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – as required (Sesame oil is preferred)

Roast and Make a paste of:

  • Dry Red Chilies – 2 to 3
  • Coriander seeds – 1 ½ tspn
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tspn
  • Fennel seeds(Perunjeeragam) – 1/4 tspn
  • Peppercorn – 1/4 tspn
  • Toor dal (thuvaram paruppu)- 1/4 tspn
  • Fenugreek seeds (Vendhayam) – a pinch
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Coconut – 1 tspn


  1. Cut Onion, Green chili, Tomato into small pieces. Soak Tamarind in water for 15 minutes. After that extract a cup of tamarind juice from it. Keep all this aside.
  2. Heat 1/2 tspn of Oil in a pan. Add Dry red chili, Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Pepper corns, Toor dal, Fenugreek seeds, Curry leaves and Coconut then roast them till they are almost brown. Then remove from heat and let it cool on then grind into a very fine paste by adding little water.
  3. Heat 2 to 3 tspns Oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds and Urad dal, once it starts spluttering add Curry leaves, Onion and Green chili, fry till they are golden brown.
  4. Add Ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes out. Add Tomato and mash it with the spatula.
  5. Then add Turmeric Powder, ground paste (from step 2) and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add Tamarind juice, 1 cup of water, Salt and Sugar to it. Bring this curry to boil once, then reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. At this stage curry becomes thick.
  7. After that add Fish pieces and cook for 5 minutes or till the fish and gravy are cooked.

Goes well with: Rice, Chapathi, Parotta, Dosa, Idli

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28 Responses to 'Karaikudi Fish Curry (Chettinadu Meen Kulambu)'

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  1. chejoh said,

    on October 5th, 2008 at 5:02 am

    what type of fish can be used in this recipe?

  2. Mike said,

    on October 6th, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Hi, can someone tell me that, what type of fish would be good or what type of fish you used to cook this. Thanks

  3. komala said,

    on October 6th, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Chejoh and Mike,
    You could use any fish of your choice for this fish curry. The fish I used here is cat fish.

  4. ankur said,

    on December 24th, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I think the best fish here would be the Pomfret fish

  5. komala said,

    on December 24th, 2008 at 9:14 pm


    Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll try that.

  6. Dilli said,

    on January 4th, 2009 at 1:39 pm


    Thank you..

  7. on March 12th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Its nice.. I like these dish…
    Thank You

  8. kavitha said,

    on May 18th, 2009 at 12:23 pm


    can u tell me the recipe for making urban chettinadu chicken recipe.

  9. usha said,

    on June 20th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    it will very nice to taste.my child eat very well

  10. puratchimani said,

    on June 20th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    i like very much the taste

  11. selvaraj said,

    on August 6th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    my tongue died, when i was in delhi. because of unavailability of south indain(tamil)fish curry.after serching in net i got this add, how to prepare karikudi fish curry, and i tried and taste our tamil nadu fish cury

  12. selvaraj said,

    on August 6th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    “vandavarai ubasarithu vazavippadu nam tamilnadu,

    appadiyendral unavin suvai summava irrukkum,”

    above are all i felt in delhi only

  13. selvaraj said,

    on August 6th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    thank u komala………

  14. priya said,

    on November 7th, 2009 at 5:06 am

    hi komala,
    im in australia n was nearly dead with the bland food here…ur recipes are excellent and life saving…i cant thank yu enough…amazing food recipes and im ur hugest fan…love yu lots…

  15. shankar said,

    on February 27th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I like this fish curry

  16. kumutha said,

    on April 10th, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    very diff taste of fish curry.keep on giving like this good varieties

  17. Sundar said,

    on May 22nd, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    your dishes taste excellent and reminding my mom. Can I call you Mom for once?

  18. sneha said,

    on September 22nd, 2010 at 5:34 am

    hello komala…this recipe….actually i am a maharashtrian girl and married to a tamil boy…so could you plz tel me…is it a proper authentic tamil fish curry…like evry1 is preparing the same in their house…tnks a ton for the recipe…bye……

  19. shajitha said,

    on November 3rd, 2010 at 10:42 am

    this good tel me how to prepare nandu soup with out spice

  20. Shan said,

    on November 26th, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Tried this with Tilapia fish..came out very good. Thanks for the fish curry recipe..!

  21. Aruna said,

    on December 8th, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I tried this recipe with Talapia it turned very well, typical chettinad style. It tastes so yummy. Thank you for sharing the fish curry recipe.

  22. kathy said,

    on May 28th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    hi thanks am trying this recipe today..

  23. lakshmi said,

    on July 10th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    how many people does it serve?

  24. mokkai saamy said,

    on October 28th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    nallavae illai.padu mattamaana taste.

  25. vinodha said,

    on October 28th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    superb taste…once i tasted it.

  26. Sumathi said,

    on October 28th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    naan idhuvarai samachadhey illai. i’m going to start from ur recipe..enna fish besta irust..kkum??? plz suggest

  27. yasir said,

    on December 21st, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    this website is nice and exallent then every website exept vahrehvah.com

  28. S.Krishnakumar said,

    on June 26th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Karaikudi Fish Curry (Chettinadu Meen Kulambu) is really superb dish.i am in Bhutan and served this to my bengali friends.Thanks komala for your post.you made me as a best cook.

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