Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Fish Gravy/Meen Kuzhambu [South Indian Style]

This is my mom’s special meen kuzhambu, there are different versions of meen kuzhambu made in each house hold. But I love my mom’s meen kuzhambu, even now when I visit my mom’s house, the first thing I ask is fish gravy. My MIL makes a different one which I will be posting later. Here comes my all-time favourite and mouth-watering meen kuzhambu.

Here’s how to make fish gravy/meen kuzhambu with step by step photos…


Fish [Tilapia/Jilebi]
5 pieces
1 finely chopped
1 finely chopped
Green chillies
6-8 cloves
Red chilli powder
2 tsp
Coriander powder
4 tsp
Turmeric powder
1 tsp
Black pepper powder
¼ tsp
One lemon sized ball
Grated coconut (optional)
2-3 tbsp
Coriander leaves
2 tbsp finely chopped
As needed

For Tempering

Gingelly oil
2 tbsp
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Cumin seeds
½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds/Vendhayam
½ tsp
Curry leaves
10 -15


Cut the fish to required size, remove the unwanted portions and wash it really good. Now sprinkle about ½ tsp of turmeric powder, sea salt, mix well and give a good wash.

Grind the grated coconut to fine paste, it is totally optional. Some time I add them and sometimes I do skip it.

Add about 1 ½ to 2 cups of water to the tamarind and extract the juice and set it aside.


Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard seeds, add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves, saute for about 15 sec.

Now add onions, garlic, green chillies and saute until golden brown.

Add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute until mushy.

Now add the tamarind water, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and let it boil really good for about 5-8 min or until the gravy will start to thicken.

Now add the fish pieces and let it cook. The fish cooks really fast in about 5 min.

Add the coconut paste, pepper powder,coriander leaves and let the gravy boil for, another 5-6 min. Finally garnish it with coriander leaves and switch off the stove.

Super delicious, spicy and tangy meen kuzhambu/fish gravy is ready to be enjoyed. Serve it with hot white rice, add 1 tsp of gingelly oil before serving.


Use pearl onions/sambar vengayam for making this gravy, since I did not have them I used the regular onions.

As I said earlier adding coconut is totally optional.

Use only gingelly oil for unique flavour and taste.

I have used Tilapia/Jilebi to make the gravy, you can replace it with any other fish as per your wish.

Thank you for visiting my blog, please come again for authentic and traditional recipes of South India.
Until then I am signing off…


  1. woww priya pass me the bowl,its tempting me a lot!!

  2. Nice clicks Priya :)Looks like you are a specialist in making this :)

  3. Meen kuzhambu looks super delicious..

  4. priya...i got to step in for that fish curry....super drooling

  5. Looks good but im vegetarian..
    Keep in touch,

  6. mouthwatering dish... i too have the fish kuzhambu in my draft.. need to post soon..

  7. wow!this gravy looks so thick & rich with flavour...Can imagine how taste it is...

  8. Yes, its certainly mouthwatering. I just like love it so much, the pieces of fish drenched in a thick spicy typical Indian curry.

  9. soo lovely....
    Thnx 4 linking it 2 my event : http://www.sajustastes.com/2013/06/foodabulous-fest-ramzan-mango-season_30.html

  10. love the way you explained and lovely clicks

  11. I love gravy very much this is yummy :)

  12. finger licking kulambu, loved the presentation dear...

  13. Thank you all very much for the wonderful comments...

  14. Fish gravy looks very delicious ! real tempting !

  15. Am drooling.. Such a strong flavored tempting meen kulambu !

  16. நல்ல தெளிவான செய்முறை...
    மிக்க நன்றி பிரியா அனந்தகுமார்

    1. Hello Vinayagamoorthy,
      Thank you so much for your sweet comments, Nandri... Keep coming back for more delicious recipes. Sorry for the late reply, I was on vacation...

  17. Replies
    1. Hi Senthil,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and giving your wonderful comments. Sorry for replying really ;ate, I was on vacation. Please keep coming back for lovely recipes...

  18. It was such a nice recipe and the way you presented is very nice please continue to post like this delicious ones

  19. Thanks for sharing... Such a nice information about the Frozen Meat Poultry!

    Indian Seafood Recipes

  20. seeing itself very tasty priya.....

  21. Jst tried.. Thank you hope my wife will Love it

  22. Just finished doing it.. Hope my wife will Love this ;)

    1. So nice of you to try meen kuzhambu for your wife, she will surely love it. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know....

  23. hi priya I made it today for my family hope they ll love it as I dont eat n cook but for my family b the way presented it I became excited to make it as my mil said lets make fish curry look over the Internet for a recipe it looked so easy thanks

    1. Hi Khushboo,
      I am so happy you are trying out this meen kuzhambu and you find it really easy and nice, thanks a lot for stopping by and letting me know about it. do keep coming back...

  24. All rec are wonderful i need to know how to prepare Nethili Meen thithippu pl send me to aakashbuvi@rediffmail.com

  25. Hi Priya, the fish gravy looks very delicious. when i make fish gravy, i use 3 big spoonfuls of ready made fish curry powders, but you only use 2 + 4 tsp of chilli & coriander powders. will the gravy be thick or thin? but you picture shows the gravy to be thick? my husband likes fish curry so i'm trying to perfect it. thanks

    1. Hi Paramis,
      sorry for the late reply. since I use home made chilli & coriander powder, this is the ratio my mum also uses. the gravy will neither be too thick nor too thin. or if u want fish gravy to be little more thicker then add little more of coriander powder. but the above given ratio will make wonderful gravy. thanks for stopping by and commenting, pls keep coming back.

  26. Hi mam , is this tilapia that s available in usa right ? Plz reply mam . I m fond of fish and now I m pregnant my doctor advised me to take only tilapia at this time . So I just want to know this fish used here s tilapia or not

    1. Hi Avalin,
      Yes I have used Tilapia for the fish gravy, do try this gravy, you will surely crave for more....
      Congrats and also welcome to the world of motherhood...

  27. I tried this, it tufned out very good, thank u, made this so many times now

  28. Hi, Nice recipe.. i am going to try this soon


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Priya Anandakumar