Coconut Fish Curry

Servings : Serves 3-4

The unbeatable combination of seafood and coconut is something only those who have grown up in coastal regions can truly fully appreciate. This beautiful dish consists of perfectly spiced fried fish slices nestled in a rich and velvety-smooth coconut sauce. No matter where I am in the world, this meal inevitably takes me back to the island I love the most.

Whilst this curry goes wonderfully well over plain rice or even with flatbreads to mop up the luscious sauce, it truly is at its peak of excellence when served over a bed of fragrant coconut rice with a cheeky little dollop of chilli-garlic pickle on the side.

Ingredients for the Fish

  • 500g fish slices, preferably king fish but even filleted pieces will work
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Ingredients for Sauce

  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 chillies, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp tomato paste/puree
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 whole chilli, slit
  • 1 cup thick/heavy coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups second press/light coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste


First, marinate the fish. Mix together the salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and lemon juice to form a thick paste. Slather this paste all over the fish pieces and set aside for about half an hour or refrigerate up to overnight. Then shallow fry them on both sides in oil until golden. Remove onto paper towels to blot off excess oil and set aside.

For the sauce, put the onion, tomato, chillies and fresh coriander in a blender jug, then add just a splash of light coconut milk. Blend until very very smooth.

In a wide bottomed pan, heat a tbsp of oil followed by the ginger and garlic pastes and stir them in until fragrant. Then add the tomato paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt, stir and allow this to cook for some seconds.

Next, add in the blended mixture and stir over medium low heat for about 3-4 minutes or until its cooked through. Then slowly begin adding the remaining light coconut milk whilst stirring continuously. Add salt, whole chilli, lemon juice and tamarind sauce and keep stirring for a few minutes. Then add the thick coconut milk and keep stirring until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.

Add the fried fish slices into this sauce and stir them in carefully. Simmer gently whilst stirring for another couple of minutes or so. Taste and adjust salt/spice/sourness to your liking.

Serve with accompaniments of your choice, I highly recommend a bed of rice to soak up all the beautiful sauce.


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