How to make Fish Kozhambu -

A Kerala fish curry with tuvar dal and sambhar onions.

Sanjeev Kapoor

This recipe is from FoodFood TV channel & has featured on Sanjeev Kapoor Kitchen.

Main Ingredients : King fish (surmai) (सुरमई मछली), Sambhar onions (संभार प्याज़)

Cuisine : Goan

Course : Main Course Seafood

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Fish Kozhambu

Fish Kozhambu Recipe Card


Goa's 450 years under Portuguese domination produced a unique, syncretic blend of East and West that is at once exotic and strangely familiar.  The various influences have made the Goan cuisine an interesting blend of tastes as a result of which it has a phenomenal repertoire of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies.  Though the recipes and techniques of the two major communities – Hindu and Christian – are different but as a rule the cuisine that comes under the umbrella of Goan is simple but chilli hot and spicy. Traditionally the food is cooked on wood fires in clay pots that are fired by the village potter. Though in the modern times, quite a few Goans have had to leave their land in search of greener pastures, they still get homesick for the smoky flavour of the fish curry and rice that get their distinct taste being cooked in crowded sweaty, smoky kitchens in earthenware pots over wood fires.      

Prep Time : 11-15 minutes

Cook time : 16-20 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Moderate

Taste : Spicy

Ingredients for Fish Kozhambu Recipe

  • King fish (surmai) 10 half-inch thick

  • Sambhar onions 15-20

  • Split pigeon pea (toor dal/arhar dal) 1 teaspoon

  • Coriander seeds 2 teaspoons

  • Fennel seeds (saunf) 1 teaspoon

  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) 1/2 teaspoon

  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon

  • Dried red chillies 3-4

  • Oil 4 tablespoons

  • Salt to taste

  • Turmeric powder a pinch

  • Red chilli powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Split black gram skinless (dhuli urad dal) 1/4 teaspoon

  • Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon

  • Curry leaves 15-20

  • Green chilli 1

  • Ginger-garlic paste 1 tablespoon

  • Tomatoes 2-3 medium

  • Tamarind paste 1 1/2 teaspoons


Step 1

Chop sambhar onions. Dry roast pigeon pea, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies till fragrant.

Step 2

Heat oil in a non stick pan. Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder on the fish pieces and spread evenly.

Step 3

Add urad dal, mustard seeds, curry leaves and onions to the oil and sauté. Add green chilli and sauté till onions are lightly browned.

Step 4

Grind roasted spices to a powder Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes to the pan and sauté.

Step 5

Add salt and sauté till tomatoes become pulpy. Add 1 tbsp of the ground spices along with ½ cup water and mix well.

Step 6

Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add fish pieces and ½ cup water and mix.

Step 7

Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tamarind paste and mix.

Step 8

Adjust salt. Add 1 tbsp of the roasted spice powder and mix.

Step 9

Cook till fish is done. Serve hot with rice.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.