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Simple fish gravy-Meen kuzhambu

  • Cleaned Fish: ½ kg –small fish like sardines, small mackerel can be used- I used rainbow trout
  • Tamarind (usually new and old crop are used): big lemon size- 50 gm
  • Kuzhambu thool (chilli powder): 4 tbsp or 2 tbsp of chili powder and 2 tbsp of coriander powder (adjust according ur spice level)
  • Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
  • Pearl onion: 10- peeled and halve it
  • One medium tomato: cubed
  • Green chilli: 2 – split
  • Salt: per taste


  • Vadagam/vadavam:  2 tsp ( if you are unlucky to hold some- 1 tsp of mustard, fenugreek, 2 crushed garlic cloves can be used)
  • Oil: 2 tsp
  • Few curry leaves



Clean the fish.

Microwave for 1 min, the tamarind with ½ cup of water. Extract the pulp only . Add 2 more cups of water, mix the chilli powder (kuzhambu thool) and turmeric powder adjust salt.

Now take a wide mouth pan , heat oil, add the vadagam or the mustard and fenugreek with garlic & curry leaves.

After few seconds, add the onion and fry until translucent. Followed by tomato and green chilies.

Pour the tamarind mix. Once it reaches the boiling point reduce the heat to medium flame and let the gravy boils around 10 min or until you feel the raw smell is gone.

Now add the fish and reduce heat to medium low, cover slightly the vessel and simmer the gravy another 8 minutes.


Trick and tips:

How to know the gravy is ready?

 At the beginning there should be a foaming and slowly the foam is reduced and you can notice later just a white circle around the vessel and pretty much no froth. At this point you can add the fish.

If the gravy is very sour. Increase the salt and chilli powder.

If the fish is gone into several pieces, either the fish is not fresh, or the stove flame was too high

Remember only practice is key success to make this simple gravy!