Thursday, May 9, 2024

Mochakottai Karuvadu Kulumbu (Field Beans Salted Fish Curry)

As I peer into the earthen pot, brimming with the flavorful Mochakottai Karuvadu Kulumbu, my appetite awakens. I must admit, I have a soft spot for this Indian-style salted fish curry. Salted fish has always held a special charm for me, with its salty goodness. It's no surprise that I could happily indulge in it every day. Yet, I'm mindful of the health implications of too much saltiness.


But amidst these considerations, there's something comforting about a touch of saltiness, like an old friend. Making this curry is simple, without any fuss. My goal is always to make cooking a joy, not a chore.

As the aroma of the simmering curry fills the air, memories of home and tradition flood my mind. This dish is more than just a meal; it's a connection to my roots and a celebration of culinary heritage. With each spoonful, I'm transported to the bustling streets of India, where the flavors are bold and the food is a reflection of centuries-old traditions. It's a reminder that food is not just sustenance but a storyteller, weaving tales of culture, family, and love. And as I share this recipe with you, I hope it brings as much joy and connection to your table as it does to mine.

For the beans:

1 cup mochakottai/field beans

1 tsp turmeric powder

A pinch of salt

Water, as needed


Other ingredients:

400g threadfin/kurau salted fish with bones, soaked for 10 mins and rinsed

2 potatoes, cut into medium-sized pieces (skin on, please)

1/2 tbsp chilli powder

1 tbsp fish curry powder (Mix both with water for a thick curry paste)

1 tsp fenugreek/halba seeds

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tbsp red onion paste

2 tbsp thick tamarind juice

Sprigs of curry leaves

5 tbsp oil

Salt, for taste


For the beans:

Begin by simmering the beans with turmeric and water until they achieve a soft texture.

Once cooked, drain off the excess water and set the beans aside.

For the curry
Heat oil in a pan and sauté the ginger, garlic, and onion paste for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Incorporate the prepared curry paste, stirring continuously until it becomes aromatic and the oil starts to separate.

Introduce the potato pieces to the pan and pour in approximately 1 liter of water. Simmer until the potatoes are three-quarters tender.

Carefully add the soaked salted fish to the pan, followed by the tamarind juice. Adjust seasoning with salt if necessary.

Allow the mixture to simmer for about 3-4 minutes to cook the salted fish thoroughly.

Next, add the boiled beans and fresh curry leaves to the curry.

Stir well and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes before removing it from the heat.

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