Fish in Coconut Sauce

Servings : Serves 4-6

Fish goes so well with coconut, and this combination makes for a fabulous and exotic curry that goes beautifully with rice, especially coconut rice.


  • 1 kg fish fillet of your choice, cut into pieces (marinate this in a paste of 1 tsp red chilli powder, half tsp salt, quarter tsp garlic paste and juice of half a lemon)
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 capsicum/bell pepper
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste/puree
  • 1 cup heavy coconut milk
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 green chilli, slit
  • cooking oil


Heat oil in a frying pan then shallow fry the fish pieces just enough to hold them together about 3 minutes on each side. They will cook some more in the sauce. Remove and leave to blot on kitchen towels.

Blend onion, tomatoes, green chilli and capsicum (make sure it’s completely smooth). Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan, then pour in the blended mixture and stir well. Let it simmer till all the water has evaporated and the mixture is cooked through.

Add tomato paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt.

Then add the light coconut milk and stir on low heat, do not stop stirring otherwise it will spoil the texture of the sauce. When it begins to simmer, add the pieces of fried fish and mix well. Allow this to cook and simmer while stirring for about 5 minutes. Then squeeze in the lemon juice, and add the heavy coconut milk and whole chillies. 

Let it simmer gently for another 2-3 minutes whilst stirring. Turn off the heat and serve.


10 thoughts on “Fish in Coconut Sauce
10 Replies
  • I tried it today.
    turned out really nice
    just one thing that the taste of coconut wasnt that obvious
    probably i didnt put enough or maybe onion became overpowering in taste

  • I made this today (minus the chilli powder :-)it turned out great. I used tafi pieces as those are what i had at hand but the results were still fingerlicking good. Btw, if u wanted to use raw mango for tartness instead of lemon when would u add it? Shukran again for your wonderful website!

  • Can I make this dish a day in
    Can I make this dish a day in advance? Will it compromise the taste? I want to make it for my guests coming in on Friday.
    By the way I made this dish for my hubby but with shrimps, and he loved it, the gravy sort of reminded us of fish paka, but mom never used onions in that.

    • You can make it a day ahead,
      You can make it a day ahead, have never tried making it much longer than that ahead of time although whenever I have leftovers they taste fine even a couple of days later. Just that fresh is fresh and if you have guests then it’s best to get it done not longer than a day before. It is a little bit different from fish paka, I will add that recipe soon too. 🙂

  • I made this yesterday and my
    I made this yesterday and my family really loved it….they had second serving with rice!! The sauce is finger picking n fish so soft…yum 🙂 i did reduced chilli according to my family taste n added a dab of butter to the sauce in the end!! N I had never tried a fish in gravy b4r…! Thank u so much fauziakitchen fun for this amazing recipe n site…thumbs up to u ! Tried other recipes too n they r all incredibly hit mashAllah

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