Keeping up with the varieties of Kuzhambu from India, Meen Kuzhambu reigns as arguably one of the delicious varieties of curry among the fishermen community of the country. To begin with, Tamilnadu style fish gravy or meen kuzhambu is something very simple in its making. It is a comforting South Indian food with clean flavors, nothing overpowering, but delicious in every single bite.
The recipe is extremely simple and easy. Sesame oil or gingely oil is used in all Tamilnadu style fish curries. This food is a perfect example of home style rustic cooking that can be mind blowing. As Jacques Pepin, the French-born American chef, author, and culinary educator once said in an interview. “It is important to have food nicely represented and all of that. But there is a certain quality to the food itself.” A south Indian home style fish curry is all that, so simple in its appearance, but certainly finger licking good by its quality.
There are different styles of meen kuzhambu. Traditionally it’s cooked in clay or earthen pots, where the fish is cooked in gravy of onions, tomatoes, and tamarind. It has a spicy and tangy taste with generous amounts of curry leaves and coconut. Cooking this dish in an earthen pot is the highlight of the dish and it really enhances the taste. Clay pot absorbs the excess water and ensures that anything cooked in it is not spoiled. The dish is usually rested for some time and then eaten as it helps the fish in absorbing the flavors into it and makes it more juicy and soft.
Chettinad Meen Kuzhambu is a Chettinad style fish curry. This recipe is a no coconut version. It is an easy and quick recipe prepared with simple spices which are easily available in kitchen. Here the spices are roasted and freshly grounded which is the beauty of the recipe. It is a rich curry with tangy taste from the tamarind and beautiful flavours from freshly grounded spices.
In Kerala style meen kuzhambu, Kodampuli is mostly used.
Sura meen kuzhambu is spicy, tangy and aromatic coconut based curry prepared using baby shark fish / Sura(in Tamil). This fish has very few bones, so kids love to eat without any fuss.
Keluthi meen is a freshwater fish with long whiskers and may be that is the reason they are called Catfish in English. Keluthi meen tastes so good compared to the sea water fishes especially for they are caught and sold alive. As there are no preservatives used to store them, they are healthy and so delicious.
On a healthy note, all kinds of fish contain high quality protein, iodine, vitamins in addition to iron, calcium and several minerals. Also, they are less in carbohydrate and cholesterol. Fish have been known to help people with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy. It makes a wonderful addition to any nutritious diet and is always better than eating meat or poultry.
All types of meen kuzhambu go well with hot steaming rice, idli or dosai. Visit Amma’s South Indian Restaurant and relish to your heart’s content the authentic meen kuzhambu served there.