Sunday, May 4, 2014

Viral Meen Kuzhambu | Madurai Meen Kuzhambu | Manga Meen Kuzhambu | Raw Mango Fish Curry

Viral Meen Kuzhambu | Madurai Meen Kuzhambu | Manga Meen Kuzhambu | Raw Mango Fish Curry is a tangy, spicy gravy and a specialty of South Indian cuisine. It’s my childhood favourite which brings back so many memorable events. We all would stand around my grandma to see the live fish. It was fun seeing the fish jumping here and there in the backyard. My Grandma was an expert in making this curry as it was my grandpa’s favorite. She used to take extra care while preparing this fish curry.
The specialty of this fish curry lies with the “viral meen” which is known as Butter Fish |  Murrel in English. This fish is a fresh water fish and will impart special aroma and flavour to this curry. Making of viral meen kuzhambu happens to be a long project due to the cleaning process of this fish. This fish is available live in the fish markets and the fish vendors will simply cut the fish into pieces, as he does for other fishes. But there’s still more work to do! This fish has to be rubbed on a hard stone so that the coating on the fish’s skin can be removed. Otherwise it becomes gel-like. Nowadays online fish stores are  delivering cleaned murrel which makes our cooking very easy.
Basically I like fish fry rather than fish pieces in gravy but this viral meen is an exception. Try this and you’ll realize what I’m saying is 100% true.
I’ve already posted the recipe for meen kuzhambu in Chettinad Style – Manchatti Meen Kuzhambu. So, today, I’ve prepared this gravy in Madurai style.

Here we go with the recipe!

  • Murrel (Viral Meen) - 1/2 kg
  • Shallots (small onion) - 10 Nos
  • Garlic – 5 pods
  • Green chillies - 2 Nos
  • Tomato - 1 No.
  • Raw mango – 2 pieces
  • Tamarind - lemon size
  • Chilli powder - 2 tsp.
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbs
  • Salt to taste

To grind:
  • Shallots – 5 Nos
  • Garlic – 5 pods
  • Grated coconut - 2 tbs
  • Fennel – ½ tsp
  • Peppercorns – ½ tsp

For seasoning:
  • Gingelly oil - 2 tbs
  • Mustard - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek - ½ teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves - few


  1. Wash and thoroughly clean the fish, using salt and turmeric powder.
  2. Soak the tamarind in a cup of water.
  3. Chop onion and tomato finely.
  4. Heat oil in a manchatti (clay pot) on the stove, add mustard, fenugreek and fennel seeds  one by one. After it splutters, add the shallots, garlic, slit green chillies.
  5. Add a tomato and sauté well till the tomato gets mashed.
  6. Add the tamarind pulp and continue adding chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and crystalline salt.
  7. Stir well and cover  with a lid. Let it boil for about 5 minutes till the raw smell of masala is gone.
  8. In the mean time, fry shallots and garlic in little oil and grind with other ingredients given "for grinding" by adding little water into a fine paste.
  9. When the gravy thickens, add mango pieces and allow it to cook for about 2 minutes.
  10. Then add the fish pieces and cover the manchatti again till the fish pieces get cooked.
  11. After the fish pieces get cooked, add the ground paste and chopped coriander. Let it boil for 5 minutes. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  12. Take the manchatti off the stove and leave the kuzhambu in manchatti atleast for half an hour before serving, as it will add a unique flavor to the meen kuzhambu.

Your tasty, tangy, flavourful Viral Meen Kuzhambu in Madurai Meen Kuzhambu style is ready to enjoy with hot, steamed rice. I have served this fish curry with Viral meen fry and it tasted yummm..

  • You can increase or decrease the quantity of tamarind depending on the sourness of raw mango.
  • The above fish curry can be made with other fish varieties too.

Tags: Viral meen kuzhambu, Madurai Viral meen Kuzhambu recipe, Fish Curry recipe, Manga meen kuzhambu recipe, Raw mango fish curry recipe, Mammidikaya chepadu pulusu, Murrel fish curry recipe, Butter fish curry, Manga meen kuzhambu in Madurai style, Seafood recipes, Fish curry varieties, South Indian Fish Curry recipe, Tangy viran meen kuzhambu recipe.

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