Dry fish chutney (Nungel meen Chutney)

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If you have loved fish cuisine in all its different forms, this easy-to-prepare tangy dry fish chutney will be a welcome addition to your staple diet. Fish (or meen as they call in Tulu) chutney paired with the nutritious Ganji (brown rice porridge or gruel) is comfort food at its best.

If you have loved fish cuisine in all its different forms, this easy-to-prepare tangy dried fish (or meen) chutney will be a welcome addition to your staple diet. Fish chutney paired with the nutritious Ganji (brown rice porridge or gruel) is comfort food at its best.
Dry fish (nungel meen) chutney

Gazing out on a rainy day in Chicago, my mind flashes back to Bombay (Mumbai) a city that sees rains in its full fury; a whole season devoted to the monsoons. For a coastal city with some of the best seafood, the monsoons ensure fishermen stay away and fresh fish is pretty much unavailable. Yet, fish lovers aren’t morose, with some of the best dishes with dried fish being cooked up in this season.

The rain brings back those memories  – walking back home from school in my raincoat to the door opening to those wafting flavors of fish/meen chutney.

If you have loved fish cuisine in all its different forms, this easy-to-prepare tangy dried fish (or meen) chutney will be a welcome addition to your staple diet. Fish chutney paired with the nutritious Ganji (brown rice porridge or gruel) is comfort food at its best.
Roasting dried fish

How to make dry fish / nungel meen chutney

If you haven’t heard of dried fish (nungel meen) chutney before, it is a tangy and spicy chutney, made from dried fish, usually a shrimp, mackerel, anchovies or shark fish.  A popular side dish with fish-eating communities across India, fish chutney is made by slow roasting dried fish in a bit of oil and coarsely grinding the roasted fish with freshly grated coconut, garlic cloves, and a few other spices. Finally, a tad bit of tamarind is added to bring about the right amount of tanginess in the dish.

For years, having moved to the US, I’d assumed eating fish chutney would be confined to those India visits. That was until we discovered dried anchovies in our local store and I couldn’t wait to make it. My kids wrinkled their noses at first but having tasted it, their gustatory senses won over the olfactory ones ๐Ÿ™‚

Pair this meen chutney with yogurt rice (dahi rice) or Ganji dish and it will instantly add that extra bit of flavor to your meal, making it an absolute lip smacker.

How to make dry fish / nungel meen chutney with Kundapur masala powder

Substitute byadgi chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and fenugreek seeds with 3 tablespoons of Kundapur masala powder. This will save you time and effort associated with roasting these spices.

Other Mangalorean recipes that may interest you 



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Dried fish chutney (Meen Chutney)

4.5 from 4 votes
If you have loved fish cuisine in all its different forms, this easy-to-prepare tangy dry fish chutney will be a welcome addition to your staple diet. Fish (or meen as they call in Tulu) chutney paired with the nutritious Ganji (brown rice porridge or gruel) is comfort food at its best.
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 32 tablespoons
Diet : Pescatarian
Course : Accompaniment
Method: Blender
Cuisine : Mangalorean

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Slowly roast the dried fish over medium-low heat for approximately 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat when the fish has turned crispy and can easily be broken to pieces. Break them into bite size pieces and discard the tail (if using shark fish or thatte). Set it aside to cool.
  • Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a medium sized pan and over medium heat.
  • Add chilies to it and roast them till an aroma emanates from it. Remove the chilies and keep it aside.
  • Roast remaining ingredients (coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, ajwain and fenugreek seeds and turmeric powder) for a minute or till it turns aromatic. Set it aside to cool it down (for approximately 10 minutes)
  • Transfer them to a blender along with the chilies, onions, garlic and tamarind paste and grind them to a fine paste. Add the coconut and pulse 2-3 times. Transfer the coconut-spice powder to a bowl and mix the fried fish.
  • Store in an air-tight container in a refrigerator and consume within 4-5 days.

Notes

To make your dried fish chutney last for a month or so, do not add onions and instead of freshly grated coconut use dried coconut flakes (copra) in the same ratio. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 33kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 9mgPotassium: 85mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 115IUVitamin C: 16.9mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 0.5mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : delicacy, dried fish, Mangalorean

This recipe definitely recreated my childhood memories, and hope it creates new memories for you and your kids.

Do you have any questions about this fish chutney recipe? Leave a comment below, and I will be happy to help.

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8 Comments

  1. The dried fish is now available from Amazon. I have bought it and will try this recipe. I will make a small amount to check the taste with some dhal and rice.

  2. Where do you get your nungel meen here in the US? I remember my mom packing a few choice pieces from our trip back from a India many many years ago, she had so many layers of packaging to keep it from stinking, but it did stink up everything:-) it was still worth it. Do you get it at the Asian store? I’ve found small dry shrimp (yetti) there, another of my favorites.

    1. I can totally relate to the stink that you are referring to ๐Ÿ™‚ and yes, it was totally worth it. We get dried fish from a Polish grocery store. I have seen them in Asian as well.

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