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5 mins
Fish Curry Recipe

Fish Curry

Mamtha Sunil Kumar

Recipe by  

This wonderful recipe for Fish Curry uses mackerel but in fact, any oily fish such as Herring, Salmon, Trout or Seer Fish would work just as well. Thanks to the long coastline of India there are many varieties of sea food that the country is known for, and consequently many varieties of fish curry. This recipe is a variant from the southern state of Tamil Nadu and is well known for its rich aroma and spices. It is reasonably easy to make and you are guaranteed to love it at first taste.

As with any recipe with a variety of ingredients, it always pays to prepare your ingredients first so they are at hand exactly when you need them.

      Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients for Fish Curry

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
If you want to know more about Indian ingredients, check our Indian Spices and our Indian Pulses, Rice and Seeds pages.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 4:
FOR THE MASALA (spicy paste)
1 large
10 cloves
1 inch
fresh ginger
2 medium
curry leaves
2 tablespoons
coconut powder
1 lb
fresh mackerel fillets
1 large
cherry-sized tamarind
10 - 12 tablespoons
vegetable oil
5 cloves
1 medium
curry leaves
1 teaspoon
turmeric powder
2 teaspoons
red chili powder
½ teaspoon


How to Cook Fish Curry

  1. For the Masala (spicy paste), peel and roughly chop the onion, garlic and ginger and roughly chop the tomatoes. Grind these to a paste along with the curry leaves and coconut powder and then set aside.
  2. Wash the fish fillets thoroughly and set aside on absorbent kitchen towels to dry. Soak the tamarind in warm water for about 5 minutes then squeeze it to extract the juice and set the juice aside.
  3. For the body of the dish, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and chop the tomato. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan (skillet) then add the chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes and curry leaves. Sauté for few minutes then stir in the masala paste before adding the turmeric powder and the chili powder.
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes over a medium heat. Check for the pungent smell of raw masala. Once the masala is fried and cooked it oozes oil from the sides; when it reaches that point, add the tamarind juice and salt. Taste and add additional seasoning if required. (Don't add any water, since the oil in the fish is sufficient for the curry).
  5. Once the masala is well cooked, gently squeeze out any remaining water from the fish, add the fish to the pan and allow the liquids to boil gently for about 5 minutes on a low-medium heat. Test a corner of the fish to see if it is adequately cooked (take care not to overcook fish - better a little undercooked than overcooked). Serve hot with steamed rice.

You can replace the fish with eggs if you want to transform this into a spicy egg curry. You need to hard boil the eggs first and only leave them in the masala long enough to warm through.
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