Tamilnadu style Meen Varuval / Fish fry made with simple homemade instant fish masala. This is almost a staple at our house, typical sunday samayal must have for us, be it any rice item or biryani… meen varuval should show up on the table 🙂
My personal choice for a south indian style fish fry would be vanjara meen varuval but unfortunately thats not avaialble all the time and not that fresh here in US, so most of the time to cut the craving I stick with my other favorite fish – Tilapia, known as Neyyi meen / Kari Meen / Jalebi meen / Jilebi meen in Tamil.
Check our space to browse for other Fish names in Tamil
Tilapia is an inexpensive fresh water fish, very popular seafood choice nowadays…. its very mild in taste, low in calories and high in protein with some decent nutrition content. They are available all year long and are easily seen in most supermarkets here in USA as whole or fillets either fresh or frozen. They suit well for any Indian fish curry recipe… I use them for meen kuzhambu, varuval, fish bake, biryani, fish moilee, fish hash/ puttu, fish fingers, fish vadai….. the list goes on.
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|Tilapia fish steaks||6|
|Turmeric powder||1/2 teaspoon|
|Red Chili powder||1/2 teaspoon|
|Coriander powder||1 teaspoon|
|Black pepper powder||1/2 teaspoon|
|Fennel seeds powder||1/2 teaspoon|
|Ginger||1 inch pieces (crushed)|
|Lemon juice||1 teaspoon|
|Oil (for shallow frying)||4 tablespoons|
|Garlic||a few (optional)|
Lets see how to make this fish fry:
I have used fresh Tilapia fish which is also called as Neyyi meen, Jilebi (Jalebi fish) or sometimes also called as Kari meen. I got them cut into thick steak like pieces. Reserved the head and tail for making kuzhambu and used the fleshy portion for frying.
Clean the cavities and give a quick rinse in cold water, use little yogurt & turmeric to rinse off the fishy smell if any.
Combine all the masala – turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, balck pepper powder, fennel seeds powder, crushed ginger, crushed garlic, salt, yogurt and lemon juice in a bowl and make a thick paste.
Apply the masala all over the fish and marinate for 5 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan and place the fish and shallow fry. Throw in some extra crushed garlic on the side, I love crispy fried garlic and hence always add a few on the side. Its is purely optional, but give it try, you will like it!
Fry until golden brown and either side about 3 minutes on either side. Remove and serve hot as a side dish for rice or biryani!
- Makes 6
- Fennel powder adds in fresh flavor to the fry, do include.
- I like to add crushed ginger and garlic instead of the paste. They have nice crunch to every bite.
- If you cannot find tilapia steak cuts then go with regular tilapia fillets, they taste equally good!
- You may use the same recipe for any fish… vanjaram, koduva, vavval meen the list goes on…