Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Columbian Retreat-Tuna Fry..

How many times have you walked into a restaurant and ordered an entrée that had its name from a U.S city – like New Orleans seafood or a New York steak. Call it an original recipe or a marketing stint, there always is some history that links the particular cuisine to a city or town.

My entry this week is titled ‘Columbian Retreat’ because every time I cook this dish, the topic on the dinner table is always the life we had then. A small sleepy university town, Columbia (SC) was my first home in the U.S. Nirmal was doing his masters back then.Living a student life, Every thing from gas to groceries were on budget and each penny was treasured. But again being the first months after marriage, there was this constant urge to please your husband (Nirmal now complains that we need to go back to Columbia to find that lost urge – he thinks we lost it while moving!!!). So when it came to fish, the only affordable fish was the Tuna in water that came in small cans and sold for $2.99 each. So I would take tuna and make 10 different versions of the fish curry to please Nirmal. Tuna therefore became the poor man’s version of the Alapuzha_fish curry, Chemeen peera, Mathi Mulakushyam etc !!! Now that nirmal finished his studies, we moved to Florida and the life is luxurious. But now recollecting the memories of those days, that life was real wonderful.

I used to make a spicy tuna curry with ‘kanthari mulaku’ which was available in Columbia. It was Nirmal’s favorite. But now I forgot how to make the original recipe, as I don’t keep notes. Now being in the costal state we get very fresh catch from the Atlantic Ocean and canned Tuna became an Alien!!!! After a very long time I wanted to eat tuna again and I prepared a tuna fry last week. This Tuna fry is so simple to make that if you have the ingredients on hand, you can have a tasty and SPICY tuna fry in less than 15 min. Imagine having surprise guests at home and being able to wave your magic wand and surprise them with a feast.


  • Tuna (starkist solid white albacore in water- 12 oz) - 1 can
  • Onion - 1
  • Tomato 1/2
  • Green chillies- 4-5
  • Ginger -1/2 tsp
  • Garlic-2
  • Ginger& garlic paste-1/2 tsp
  • Coconut grated - 1/4 cup
  • Chilli powder - 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 spring
  • Oil - 4 tsp
  • Mustad seeds - 1 tsp


  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add thinly sliced onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and ginger& garlic paste one by one and fry. When the onions starts turning color, add all powdered ingredients and fry for 1 minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Open the can and put the tuna in to the pan including the water with salt, cover the pan and cook until the water is evaporated. Now add the grated coconut and curry leaves to that and fry till done.

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  • Replace the onion with shallots for better taste.
  • Adjust the chili powder according to individual preferences.


Blogger Deepa Cooks said...

Hi Maneka,

Your tuna fry looks very diff. & delicious too.give a try soon.thanks for sharing

10:46 PM  
Blogger Meena Kandlakuti said...

hi nirmala,
iam visiting your site for first time...i have seen your comment on archana's blog.Good dishes..happy blogging

2:03 PM  
Blogger Revathi said...

Looks darn good. !!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

Hey Menaka... got to see you in Archan's blog--- another add to my Kerala cuisine:)

11:36 PM  
Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

Hey Menaka.... I have tagged you for the meme:)

12:01 AM  
Blogger archana said...

Nice presentation Maneka,thank you for the recipe.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! your pics are very good

Hehehe...I think I too lost the urge while moving :)

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

thanks for the was yummo and easy to prepare after a long day's work! thanks a lot!!

9:05 PM  
Blogger Rajesh R said...

wow!! the photo you took makes the curry look really yummy...i could just have dinner looking at it :)...thanks!!

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Maneka,

Nice recipes here! How do you think this might work out if I used fresh tuna instead? Ad how would you prepare the tuna in that case?


8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried ur tuna fry..My husband loved it..thanks for sharing such a good recipe..It was extremely delicious.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous hema said...

Hi Menaka,
Your tuna fry looks very yummy.I guess it would be very spicy too,anyway ill try it for sure.can i use the same for any other tuna brands??

9:10 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I make tuna fry as well. it is very different than what you have. I may post it on my blog one day. It is best served with rice and morru charru. have a look on my new recipe blog.

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