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Karuvattu Kulambu Recipe

Written By Angela Steffi on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | 11:40:00 PM

Karuvattu Kulambu / Dry fish Curry is a traditional recipe of Tamil Nadu and it is quite easy to make. This is an excellent side dish for dosa, idly and also goes very well with rice it smells really delicious and  will invite your friends from miles. I am a big fan of my mother's karuvadu Kulambu, whenever she makes it i would be the first to attend the dinning table and the last to clear the seat.This recipe is made with dried fish and my mom adds some vegetables like eggplant, drumstick, long brinjal and sometimes plantain and the spices added to it stimulates your taste buds and you will start craving for it.
Traditionally fish curry is made in mud pot to enhance the flavor and taste similarly i always make karuvattu kuzhambu in mud pot to enhance the taste and i can guarantee you that this will taste awesome.

Please click here to watch Karuvadu Kulambu in Tamil :  கருவாட்டு குழம்பு  


Serving Size          : 4  people

Preparation Time : 30 mins

Cooking Time       : 30 mins

Difficulty: Spice Level:


Ingredients for Dry fish Kulambu

4 pieces
Dry fish / Karuvadu / any variety 

For Karuvattu masala / Dry fish Masala
1 tbsp
1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds / Venthayam
1 tsp Pepper corns        /  Milagu
1 tsp Cumin Seeds       /  Jeeragam
3 Cloves Garlic
10-12 Shallots    /   chinna vengayam
1/4 tspTurmeric powder
2 tsp
Chilli Powder
3 tsp Coriander Powder
1 cup Grated Coconut

For Karuvadu Kulambu / Dry Fish Curry
2 tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
Brinjal / eggplant
1 Drumstick

Lemon size tamarind soaked in water  / nellikai size Pulli

fewCurry leaves

Salt to taste


Cooking Method

Step 1) Heat some oil in a pan and add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and pepper corns and mix it once. Then add garlic and shallots and cook until the shallots turns soft.


Step 2) Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and then add tomato and cook it for few minutes until the tomatoes turns mushy. Add a little bit of water to prevent the masalas from burning.


Step 3) Then transfer the ingredients to a blender and also also add grated coconut to it and grind it to a very smooth paste. use fresh coconut for the recipe desiccated coconut doesn't not taste good for this recipe.


Step 4) Now to make karuvattu kulambu heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, once the seeds crackle add brinjal and drumstick.Cook this for 3 minutes or until the brinjal turns soft.once soft add green chilies and also add the ground coconut masala mixture.Then add tamarind extract and required water. (I rinsed the pot with some water after sauteing the masalas and added ).
Most of the dry fish comes with salt so check for salt and then add salt to the curry.


Step 5) After adding all the ingredients bring the gravy to a boil,once it comes to a boil add the dry fish and cook for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat.It is very important to cook the fish for 10- 15 minutes, only then all the flavors from the fish will diffuse into the gravy and you will get the best and awesome taste. 


Step 6) Final step is to garnish the Dry fish curry with some curry leaves and turn off the heat. Karuvattu curry tastes even better when heated and served on the next day



  1. Soak the dry fish in cold water for 15 -20 minutes before adding into the curry. This makes the dry fish to soften.
  2. You can add mangoes to add extra taste,If you are adding mangoes then reduce the amount of tamarind used.
  3. You can use any dry fish of your choice.

Karuvattu Kulambu / Dry fish curry is a very easy and tasty recipe which can be made at home.This is an excellent side dish for dosa, idly and also goes very well with rice it smells really delicious and will invite you from miles.
Rated 4.8/5 based on 32 reviews


    For Karuvadu Masala / Dry fish Masala

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp pepper corns
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 10-12 shallots
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Chilli powder
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 cup Grated coconut

    For Karuvadu Kulambu / Dry fish Curry

  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 Brinjal / eggplant
  • 1 Drumstick
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • tamarind extract
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry Leaves
  1. heat oil and add all the ingredients listed below Dry fish Masala except coconut and cook for few minutes until shallots and tomato turns soft
  2. Grind the masala along with coconut and keep it aside
  3. Heat oil in a pan, and add mustard seeds,then add eggplant and drumstick and cook for few minutes
  4. Then add the coconut masala mixture, tamarind extract, water and salt
  5. once the gravy comes to a boil add the dry fish and coo for 10-15 minutes
  6. Finally garnish the Dry fish Curry with some curry leaves
  7. Our Delicious Karuvattu Kulambu is ready to be served with rice.

About Angela Steffi

I am an avid food blogger with a great passion for food. I am always eager to try new recipes and modify recipes and experiment with them. I have two cooking channels on Youtube CLASSIC MASALA HUT (for english recipes) and MADRAS SAMAYAL (for Tamil recipes).