January 13, 2011

Fish Fillets in Coconut Sauce — Chettinad Meen Kozhambu

Chettinad, a region in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is famous for its delicious, aromatic cuisine. This wonderful warming Chettinad fish curry is perfect for a family meal or for entertaining friends. You can use any fleshy white fish fillets like hamour, snapper or king fish to make this dish. Also, you can serve it with rice or your choice of bread – it goes well with anything.

I have made this using king fish, and also snapper. This time I used hamour. Hamour is a prized, orange-spotted grouper found locally in Qatar.

Fish Fillets in Coconut Sauce — Chettinad Meen Kozhambu

Serves 4-6 as part of Indian meal

500g skinless fish fillets
1 cup coconut cream
2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
3 dry red chilies
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder
1 ½ tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 tablespoon oil
3 sprig curry leaves


Cut the fish fillets into 4­­–­5cm chunks. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep nonstick pan, over medium-low heat. Add mustards and cook until the seeds crackle, and then add fenugreek seeds and red chilies, and toss well for 10 seconds. Stir in the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 1 minute, then add curry leaves, chili power and turmeric powder and fry for 30 seconds more. Tip in tomatoes and cook until slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in coconut cream and tamarind paste and bring to the boil. Season.

Add fish, cover and simmer, for a further 4 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Serve warm with rice or bread.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it the number 1 sin in heaven if this post goes by without a comment? ;p

    Coconut cream is rich coconut milk?

    Are you sure about the tamarind and lemon juice quantity. Won't it make the dish a tad too sour?


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