Authentic Red Snapper Fish Curry / Sankara Meen Kuzhambu

An authentic fish curry with steamed rice and fried fish is a lipsmacking recipe combo for lunch. Red snapper / Sankara fish has such an unique flavour that gives a delicious taste when prepared as a curry/Kuzhambu than fry. This is a basic fish curry preparation which can be tried with any fish varieties but best tastes with varieties like Sankara (Red snapper),  Nethili (Anchovies), Nagara (Japanese threadfin bream fish), Mathi (Sardines).

This tamarind based gravy prepared with shallots and tomatoes is yummy and one can never stop having this with just one serving.

Do check the links for other Non-vegetarian recipes:



Red Snapper – 1/2 kg (head and tail removed)

Sesame oil – 4 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Uradh dhal – 1/2 tsp

Methi seeds – 1 tsp

Fennel seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Pearl onions – 10 to 15 nos

Tomato – 2 (big)

Tamarind pulp – 1/4 cup

Homemade curry powder – 2 tbsp (heaped)

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – to taste

Water – 2 to 3 cups (approx)


  1. Clean fish with salt and turmeric and wash well with water. Keep this aside.
  2. In a kadai, heat the sesame oil and add the mustard seeds, uradh dhal, fennel seeds and methi seeds one by one.
  3. Throw in a sprig of curry leaves.
  4. Then add the pearl onions. Saute till the pearl onions turn transparent.
  5. Now add the chopped tomatoes, tamarind pulp and the homemade curry powder and required salt.
  6. Pour 2 to 3 cups of water and check for sourness and spiciness. The gravy should be slightly watery at this stage.
  7. Allow the mixture to boil for about 10 to 15 mins so that the gravy becomes thick.
  8. After the gravy turns thicker, add the cleaned Red snapper fish and cook in low flame for about 3 to 5 mins (not more than that).
  9. Red snapper fish curry is ready to be served with Rice and Idli / dosa.


  • Let the salt,sourness and spiciness slightly be on higher side in the gravy, as the fish absorbs a little when added to the gravy and the remaining retains in the gravy.


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