Fish Kulambu Recipe

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Fish Kulambu


  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 4 to 6 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup garlic cloves, quartered
  • 1 green chili pepper, cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper and cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (more, if desired)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 1 pound firm-fleshed fish fillets
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander


  1. Place oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add curry leaves, fenugreek, fennel,and cumin seeds. Cover and fry until urad dal is golden.
  2. Add onion, garlic, chili pepper, and tomato. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.
  3. Blend in turmeric powder and cook for another minute.
  4. Add cayenne powder, curry powder, black pepper and cumin powder, and salt. Stir and cook for another minute.
  5. Add tomato sauce, minced ginger, and tamarind paste. Blend well into mixture. Add about one cup warm water. Stir well and allow mixture to simmer, uncovered, for few minutes over medium-low heat.
  6. When mixture begins to boil, add fish pieces and spoon sauce carefully over fish. Add coriander. Continue cooking over low heat, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes until fish is opaque and flaky.
  7. Sauce should be stirred gently during the cooking process. Use the handles of the saucepan to swirl the sauce, rather than risk breaking the fish steaks with a spoon.
  8. When fish is done, remove saucepan from heat. Cover and let it remain at room temperature until serving. If fish is not served immediately, reheat only briefly before serving.

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