Dry Fish Curry

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Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu-1Dry Fish… Karuvaadu… Lip-smacking gravy… Yummmmmm!! Soaked in salt, dried in sun thereby being preserved naturally, dry fish tantalizes your tastebuds ! When you cook them, your neighbours will eat with their nose 😉

From ages we do have a custom of giving dry fish to delivered moms for more milk production. I used to have this once a week when I delivered Nilaa. You enjoy your meal with tasty dry fish and your baby will enjoy his/her next feed as milk oozes out to fill the tiny tummy faster than ever! Hypertensive(High BP) moms pls excuse as dry fish has more salt.

In this post, I have used mullan karuvaadu for photo bg and paal suraa karuvaadu(White Young Shark) for cooking. The same procedure applies to any variety of dry fish say nethili(Anchovies), thirikkai(Sting ray fish), seela/neimeen (Seer fish/King fish)…Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu-2

Karuvaatu Kuzhambu Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 40 mins| Soaking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3 | Suits: 5+ Years kids and whole family

Dry fish – 250g
Pearl Onions – 1 cup
Garlic – 8 pods
Tomato – 2 small size or 1 big size
Tamarind – Gooseberry sized
Grated Coconut – 1/3 cup tightly packed
Sambar/Gravy powder – 2 tbsp
Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Water – 3.5 cups

To Temper

Gingelly oil/Nallennai – 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds/Kadugu – 1/4 tsp
Split black gram/Urad dal/Ulundhu – 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek/Methi seeds/Vendhayam – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – few
Corriander leaves – few


1.Soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water for 10-15 mins. Mash it using hand to dissolve it in water. Filter using fingers, extract the juice and discard the pulp.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step12.Wash dry fish and soak it in warm water for 1/2 an hour to 1 hour. Peel the skin of onions, garlic and keep the other ingredients ready.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step23.Just cut onions and garlic into halves and chop tomatoes. In hot gingelly oil, add mustard seeds and once spluttered add urad dal and methi seeds. Once slightly browned, add onions, garlic and curry leaves.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step34.Once onions become translucent, add tomatoes and corriander leaves. Let it fry well till oil separates.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step 45.Add sambar powder or any kuzhambu podi(see tips below for ratio) and fry for a min. Add tamarind extract along with extra 1 cup of water and cook closed for 10 mins in high flame.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step 56.Grind coconut pieces in mixie. Add 1/2 cup water and grind to a smooth paste.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step67.Add ground coconut and extra 1 cup of water. Cook closed for 10 mins in high flame.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step78.Wash dry fish by rubbing them with fingers against flowing water. Wash well for 3 to 4 times and keep ready. Add pepper powder to gravy.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step89.Add washed dry fish and cook covered in medium flame for 10 mins.How to make Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu Step9Flavorful dry fish gravy is ready to be tasted !


  • Do not add salt while making gravy as most of the dry fish would have more salt in it. Taste the gravy just before switching off the stove and add salt if required.
  • You shall replace sambar powder with your gravy powder. Or just add 1tbsp dhaniya powder + 1 tbsp plain chilli powder+ 1 pinch turmeric powder + 1 pinch Jeera powder +1 pinch pepper powder.
  • If you wish to make it more spicy, decrease the amount of coconut and increase pepper powder.
  • For authentic taste, I have used country tomatoes. You shall replace it with hybrid ones.
  • Do not replace pearl onions with big onions!
  • Most preferred dry fish for lactating moms are paal suraa, kaaraa and thirikkai karuvaadu.
  • While making specially for feeding moms, you shall decrease tamarind as more tamarind is not recommended for the yet-recovering uterus.

Dry Fish Karuvaadu Kulambu-3

Nutritional Benefits

Dry Fish– Sodium, Protein, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamins A,C&D


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