Fish Curry Tamilnadu style (Red Snapper)/ Sankara Meen Kuzhambhu

Fish can be served in many ways. Especially when fish is cooked with tamarind juice, it tastes so delicious – Like you are born to eat! Fish curry is a recipe in which the fish pieces including head are cooked in the tamarind garlic curry. Generally small fishes are used in fish curry as big fishes won’t be that fun to eat along with curry. Fishes which are bigger in size are commonly used to make fish fry. One of the common fish used in fish curry worldwide is Red Snapper.

This curry can be served with steamed rice, idli, dosa particularly egg dosa.


  • Prep time – 20 mins ( Excluding the fish cleaning time)
  • Cooking time – 30 mins
  • Serves – 3


  • Red Snapper – 1 pound ( I prefer clean and steaks cut)

Note: If you don’t prefer head, discard it and use the rest of the fish for the curry.

  • Tamarind – 1 medium lemon size ( If tamarind extract is used, adjust the quantity as per the tanginess. The tanginess should be a little more as the fish can absorb  it)
  • Onion – 1 medium (diced)
  • Tomato – 1 medium ( diced)
  • Garlic – 1 big ( peeled and crushed ; divide it into 2 portions)
  • Ground peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
  • Red Chilli powder – 1 and half tablespoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon

Note: The above two ingredients can be replaced with homemade traditional chilli powder.

  • Salt to taste
  • Ground turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon

For seasoning:

  • Oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Vadagam – 1 teaspoon

Note : This can be replaced by mustard seeds, split urad dal ( black gram)

  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig


Seasoning with vadagam


Sauteing onions


Adding in the tomato and crushed garlic


Adding the tamarind water and the spices



After adding the fish pieces in


Second portion of crushed garlic


Boiling and reduction


Half opened pot


Oil separated out and curry leaves are added
  • Clean the fish pieces.
  • Put tamarind in hot water for quick softness. Extract the tamarind juice by adding water three times. Keep it aside. Chilli powder and coriander powder can also be added to the tamarind along with salt.
  • In a deep cooking pot, add the oil over medium and high heat. Add the seasoning ingredients except curry leaves.
  • Add the onion in. Saute well for 2 to 3 mins. Then add the one portion of the crushed garlic. Save the next portion for later.
  • Add the tomatoes in and saute it well till the tomatoes are soft enough.
  • Now it’s time to add the tamarind water along with chilli powder, coriander powder, salt, turmeric powder.
  • Mix well and cover the pot over medium high flame. When it’s boiling, keep the lid half open so that it won’t be spilled.
  • Let it be boiled for 5 mins. Reduce the heat to low. Now add the cleaned and washed pieces of red snapper in. Cover it.
  • Let the fish be cooked. After 5 mins add the another portion of garlic in along with the ground pepper.
  • Keep the lid half open in high heat till the curry is reduced to semi thick state and oil gets separated.
  • Add the curry leaves. Bring it to a boil.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice along with fried fish.

This fish curry can be served with fish fry, omelette, fryums, etc., Hope you liked the recipe. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome. Have a wonderful day!


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