Sura Meen (Shark fish) Kuzhambu

Monday, February 24, 2014 0 comments
We in home are salmon fish lovers and buy them atleast once a week and prepare fish curry or fish fry out of it. We never resort to any other kinds of fish. But for a long time I wanted to try shark/ sura fish - the darling fish for Indian sea food lovers. But I never got to see shark fish being sold here in Melbourne. Luckily, my husband chanced upon this shark fillet in a local supermarket store recently and when he got it home, I was so thrilled and we have been getting this every week now. 

I vouch now, fish curry tastes fab and authentic only when done with Shark fish.

Post delivery, this fish is a treat for young nursing mothers and it is said to increase their lactation/ milk production. Colloquially, this fish is known among the locals as Paal Sura. The name itself says...Sura fish is also widely and popularly used in the preparation of Sura Puttu. But this fish is rarely used in the preparation of fish fry.  

1 shark school fillet/ 3-4 shark cutlet pieces
4 ts kuzhambu podi
1 ts tamarind paste/ tamarind water extracted from 1 small lemon sized tamarind

To grind
3 tbs grated coconut
1 small sized onion
1 ts whole pepper
1 ts jeera
4-5 garlic cloves

For tempering
2 tbs sesame oil (or) preferably coconut oil for authentic flavor
1 ts mustard seed
1/2 ts urad dal
1/2 ts methi seeds
1 red chilli broken, 1 green chilli slit opened
Enough curry leaves


- Wash and clean the fish fillet and cut them into desired size. If using cutlet pieces, use them as it is. Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil in a small pan. Add little turmeric powder. Add the fish pieces and bring them to a boil again. Now switch off flame and when the fish pieces are cool enough to handle,  remove from water, wash them in running water, remove skin if present and discard the boiled water. (This step is mandatorily done for sura meen to remove the excess bitterness from the fish)

- Grind the ingredients mentioned above to a smooth paste with little water. (Grind them in the following order - first coconut is ground, then jeera and pepper is added, then grind with garlic and onion, finally add water; this ensures a smooth paste) 

- In a big stock pot or a kadai add the ground paste, kuzhambu podi and tamarind water with enough salt. Add around 2-3 cups of water, mix well without any lumps and bring the liquid to a boil. Now add the fish pieces and simmer till the kuzhambu thickens.

- When the kuzhambu is getting ready prepare the seasoning with mustard seed, urad dal, red chilli, green chilli and lots of curry leaves. Curry leaves add a lot of flavor to any meat based dish, particularly sea food dishes. 

- When the kuzhambu is done take them out in a serving bowl and add the hot tempering over it. Adding the tempering at the last stage gives a nice glossy finish to the dish. 

Enjoy preparing it and have a hearty meal. We enjoyed it with crunchy papads and yummy prawn milagu curry. Seafood and tamarind based dishes tastes best when had the next day when all the flavors get well into the meat and set well. 


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