Meen Kozhumbu (Fish Curry)

A staple dish hailing from the southern parts  of India!!

Have you ever experienced fresh aromatic, spicy and a festival of tastes when you had something really that great of a dish!!! You know what I have and had the chance to revisit that experience almost through out my life. I come from the southern region of India, Tamizh Nadu (Tamil Nadu) my city (Chennai) is by the East Coast of the state and fish was the staple of everyday living, though by time it was not easy to have fish every other day but, yes I have had a handful of time to experience it.

Nearly every other corner on the East part of the city you would find a local food kart serving, Rice with Fish Curry and Fried Fish,

Image courtesy “Sundari Akka Kadai” (#sundariakkakadai) a famous local food kart serving lunch on the beach.

The Fish curry is so good, rich in taste we the people of the city #Chennai are made for it. As I grew up I needed to learn how to make the curry so I could enjoy it when ever I wanted, so here’s the recipe,

Serves 4
Start by, cleaning, remove tail, scales and if possible deboned 4 big slices of fish your choice, preferably salt water fish (my favorite Snapper, Seer or White Mullet) and keep aside,

  • 2 Coconuts (Finely Chopped or Grinned into Milk)
  • 3 Onions
  • 4 Tomato’s
  • Fenugreek leaves
  • Cumin Powder
  • Get them all into a mixing jar and grind them to a paste and keep aside.
  • Then, take a medium size pot preheat at medium flame then add the following,
  • 3 tablespoon of Oil (Olive or Sunflower Oil)
  • Mustard Seeds (1 Teaspoon)
  • Curry leaves
  • Garlic 4 or 5 cloves (Just pealed and crushed)
  • Let everything start to crackle, you will smell the tastes getting released from the garlic then add,
  • Green Chili (With or with out the seeds depending on how Hot you want)
  • Turmeric (Half teaspoon)
  • Garam Masala (Mild one) then add the paste we made at the beginning and finish Salt (depends on how much you prefer) and close the lid for 30 Mins at medium flame,

After 30 mins, add the fish with 200 ML of Fish Stock again close the lid for 30 mins, once done you will see the oil getting getting released from the fish on the surface, stir slowly to mix the oil, that’s where the taste comes from, squeeze a lemon and throw in some fresh chopped parsley.

Voila it’s done,

Something like this (Image Courtesy- www.yummytummyaarthi.com)

I know it looks a long process but, take time, show some love am sure you won’t regret it.

I tried to put this as simple and easy as possible, please excuse if it is not legible, if you do try it, let me know how it was.

Eat good..

Yours always,

Big Bad Foodie.

Biryani!! An Indulgence.

Ah!!! just breathe it in and don’t let go of the scent, that’s how it feels when you see a plate of Biryani, it’s just so satisfying …

Dum-Cooked-Mutton-Biryani

Yes, people it’s the best, just imagine flavored rice, tender juicy succulent meat, strong essence of aromatic masala and the best dish to have it with friends and family together in events, weddings and so forth.

We need Pie!! My grand daddy always said, if you got a problem that you can’t solve, helps to get out of your head. Pie, it’s good – Agent K (MIB)
Now, this is how much we love it, read it again below,
We need Biryani!! My grand daddy always said, if you got a problem that you can’t solve, helps to get out of your head. Biryani, it’s good – BBF

A staple among Indians and also in other countries, just a nod to how strong Biryani has an influence in India especially Southern region, you’re in a wedding and happen to ask the Groom an hypothetical question, to choose between a full plate of Biryani or the Bride, he would go for the plate.. that’s how much we are in love with this dish, you can have a stranger march a rally  for you, just hand them a packet of Biryani!! am serious not joking guys.. we love our Biryani.

Types of Biryani from Different part of India:

Over the years this dish has become kind of like a National Delicacy where every State of India as it own way of doing it, all of them are unique because of the kind of rice and masala used in it,

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Let me rank it down based on my personal experience,

  1. Mugalai Biryani – Uniquely cooked, only available in few parts of Delhi, the Rice (Basmathi) has to be Aged enough for the flavor to build up and the recipe is preserved and followed by old families who belong to the Mughal era, one of the best places to have – Mugalai Biryani
  2. Hyderabadi Dum Biryani– One can identify a proper Hyderabadi Biryani by looking at it, since its the only one made in two visible layers, one part plain and other part with the masala, you can chose how much masala you need with the plain rice when you eat, since its very strong with aroma and spices, one of the places to have – Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
  3. Ambur Biryani– Hailing from one of the smallest towns of Tamil Nadu this biryani has almost a 3 generation time line of unchanged method, its uniqueness is the use of Zeeraga Samba rice the queen of all rice, best place to have – Ambur Biryani
  4. Bangladeshi Biryani– Now this one didn’t actually hail from West Bengal , back when India was under the Queens Rule, there was a King from Lucknow who was dethroned and sent out, he was very much fond of the Lucknowi Biryani, his chefs would include large chunks of potato’s to the mix since meat was a scarcity during his exile and over the years Kolkata has evolved the dish and perfected it. *I had this Biryani at a friend house, so, could not suggest a restaurant for it.
  5. Karnataka Donne Biryani– This one is a recently acquired taste, I came across this place in the month of April’18, it caught my eye as I was searching for a place to have lunch, there was a huge line of people waiting to get bite to eat and this place was serving nothing else than Biryani. The taste was very different and unique, no veggies used, not a lot of spices, I couldn’t guess how they made it by then but, the over all taste comes from the fat of the meat and citrus effect from the lemon. One of the place you could have it – Karnataka Donne Biryani
  6. Chennai Biryani– Now this is close to my heart, as I live and breathe in this city, this one has typically become a part of my life. The taste as described in the image is inspired from Ambur, Hyderabad and Kerala (Malabar) every biryani stall you come across in the city would definitely give you a hint of all those places if you have had them all. One my favorite places to have in the city – Chennai Biryani
  7. Malabar Biryani– This is biryani almost tastes like Ambur Biryani since both use Zeeraga Samba rice but, this one is less spicy and it specially steamed inside a bamboo shoot, it has that freshness to it from the bamboo, rich flavor of Kerala spices and to suck it all in the rice which just elevates it to the next level. You would find loads of restaurants who follow this style of cooking Biryani in the northern part of the state of Kerala.

I wanted to share my love of Biryani to all and have done so, if there is any other crazy person like me who would like share their experience on this, please feel free to.

Hope you guys drooled enough, now find the nearest place in which ever part of the country your in and grab a plate… Happy Eating you all.

Big Bad Foodie.

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