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Sunday in Madras city is reserved by Simple minded Cinema crazy footpath dwellers of Pariah caste for Meen Kozumbu and Mutton curry. If you take a walk around George Town or Park Town, around nine AM You would not fail to see on every foot path these being cooked. Thayar Amma was our house maid working for a salary of seven rupees per month. She used to stay near our house on the footpath and Sundays were her Meen Kozumbu or Karvade Kozumbu days.It was fascinating for me to see her patiently cleaning the fish, using a stone to make paste of all the ingredients which she would have bought just enough for that day from NADAR KADAI.Using an aluminum vessel and a Coconut shell wooden ladle would make some finest curry and Kozumbu. I was not a privy to taste it but her sons and son in-laws were always there to have it. I would try and bring the recipe to you and see for yourself how good it is.

True Meen Kozumbu would have small unscaled or descaled fish cleaned and whole or not large pieces as they would break and become mushy. It can be dried karavddai fish too. Fish can be of your choice as long as it is a Sea Fish. Even stirring while cooking must be careful as not to break the fish. Adding the fish pieces should be towards the end of cooking of the Kozumbu. Cooking further ten minutes to fifteen minutes on medium/slow fire should suffice. Never over cook fish.

Fish (small ) of your choice 150 to 250 gms.
Onion 2 nos. medium
Garlic 6 to 8 cloves
Red Chilli 5 to 6 nos.
Dhania 2 spoons
Jeera 1 spoon
Mustard 1 spoon
Turmeric 1/4 inch piece
Poppy seeds 1.5 spoons
Tomatoes 2 to3 nos.
Coconut 2 to 3 pieces
Kothumalli 1/4 cup
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Tamarind Juice 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Oil for tempering 2 ladles




Dice Tomatoes, make a paste of all the ingredients except Mustard seeds on a stone and fill up a katora and set aside. Extract Tamarind Juice and add it to about 750 ml of water , add salt and set it to boil. When first boil is over, add Tomatoes and let it blanch. Now add the paste of all the spices and let it simmer on a slow flame for about five to six minutes. When fine aroma of Kozumbu masals spreads, add previously cleaned fish. Let it simmer on slow fire for about eight to ten minutes. Keep the vessel covered. Check if the fish is cooked. Check for salt now. Take the oil in a Tampering ladle and add mustard heat it. When Mustard crackles, pour it over Kozumbu. Cover immediately. There are two ways of using red chillies in this Kozumbu. Either you add it to paste or use it in tempering. Use in proportions you like.


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