Kanavai meen varuval – Squid fish curry

How much I am in love with this fish ? mm…soooo much. In childhood days staying in Cuddalore usually fish is bought from the lady vendor who carries a sand prinkled vareities of fish in a aluminium basket covered with a wooden plate. Kamala that what the lady is named and my grandma is her favorite customer. She loves my grandma’s kulambu even though she has fish kulambu at home day in and day out. And my grandma would many times reserve a small bowl for her. And for that in return whenever she find these squid fish (its actually rare there) she would hid it in the bottom of her basket for us.

My grandma would make an elaborate cleaning sesison of this fish and she’ll carefully remove that small bag filled with a black liquid (which if broken and if the liquid spreads on the fish it would turn it bitter; thats what she used to tell me). Then its cut into inch sized pieces and would turn into a wonderful curry which when mixed with hot piping rice its heaven on earth.

I like prawns very much and somehow I felt the taste of this fish matched it. I became a big fan of it and would have had it almost 4-5 times during the Cuddalore days. But after that I would drool on the recipes people would post on the squid fish. How much I am happy when Amma got it for me last week ? I simply jumped in joy and Amma made this fabulous curry for lunch and I had it to my heart’s content as I don’t know how many more years should I wait to have another time. Here comes the recipe.



Squid fish (cleaned and cut into 1 inch size) – 1 cup

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tea spoon

Salt – 1/4 tea spoon (or to taste)

Sambar podi (or 1:3 chillie:coriander powder) – 1 tea spoon

Garam masala podi – 1/4 tea spoon

Onion (medium sized chopped) – 1

Tomato (small chopped) – 1

Peanut oil – 1 T spoon

How to make it ?

In thck bottomed vessel heat the oil. Once hot add the ginger garlic paste and saute till they turn gold. Add the onions and cook till they turn soft. Add the tomatoes, sambar podi, salt and cook till tomatoes turn mushy. Now add the squid fish and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover and simmer. After 5 minutes check if the fish is cooked (the fish turns little rubbery when cooked) and add little more water if not. Once the fish is cooked open the vessel and saute till the entire curry becomes bit dry. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with piping hot rice.



11 comments on “Kanavai meen varuval – Squid fish curry

  1. Loved it..I got introduced to squid in US, when my mom came here.She made thoran out of this.But somehow didn’t have the courage to cook it my own ..:(.

  2. Wow that is very appealing..I am not fond of them though…

  3. wow!!this squid curry looks delicious..mouth watering pics too :)..loved it..

  4. Sounds really good, I love curry and your photo is amazing! Do you have any great salmon recipes? If so, we’re having a salmon recipe contest and giving the winner 15 lbs. of wild salmon! Check it out at http://marxfoods.com

  5. It is so tempting Nirmala..Amma stayed in cuddalore for few days after my marriage.Appa took me to the fisherman place.Missing cuddalore because for fish

  6. Hi ,
    Loved your squid curry.Iam a bif time fan of Squids, and we also call them kanavai.You know what I am also a native of cuddalore, and my grandma is also the master in making them.But after marriage, my inlaws would just give an odd look if I utter the word ‘kanavai’.They hate it.
    But now though I have the freedom to cook these, since its hign n choletral, Iam refraining myself from making them.After seeing your post, I have madeup my mind to try it out this weekend.

  7. hey
    nice to know that u r from cuddalore
    i m native of cuddalore

    i m in tiruppapuliyur, and there was one fish lady named Kamala who sells fish in my street
    at which place u were here in cuddalore?

  8. I LOVE squid, never tried any Indian style dish though… I am bookmarking this Nirmala, it is a must try dish for me…

  9. Looks delicious and the squid looks fresh, too! We only get frozen squid and cuttlefish here since we are so far inland. 😦 I will try this the next time I am near the coast somewhere.

  10. I come from North Coastal Andhra Pradesh(bordering orissa). In our village we call this fish, Komati Sanchulu. Not many people buy this fish. But, whoever buy this fish are crazy about this fish. This recipe looks exactly like what my mom used to make. This is my all time favorite curry. Thanks for the recipe. The only problem is to find cleaned squid. Let me search for it in asian shops.

  11. nice and easy recipe. cleaning squid is not that tough, its very easy. youtube has a ton of videos explaining how to clean a squid.

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