If you are a fan of seafood and love the rich and spicy flavours of curry cuisine, then you’ll love this fish curry recipe. Fish curry is a flavorful and satisfying dish that has been enjoyed in many cultures worldwide for centuries.
This dish is known for its rich and aromatic blend of spices and tender fish pieces that create a perfect harmony of flavours.
It is a versatile and easy-to-prepare recipe that is perfect for any occasion. In this article, we will look closer at the ingredients, steps to prepare, tips for success, variations, serving suggestions, and more to help you create the perfect fish curry at home.
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Popular Types of Fish Used in Curry
When making fish curry, the type of fish you use can make a big difference in the final dish. Depending on their texture and flavour, some fish are better suited for curries than others. Here are some of the most popular types of fish used in curry:
This fatty fish is a popular choice for curries because it has a rich flavour and can hold up well in the sauce.
Cod is a mild-flavoured fish ideal for those who prefer a less fishy taste in their curry. It has a firm texture that holds up well in the sauce.
Tilapia is a lean fish that is popular in Asian and African cuisines. It has a mild flavour and a delicate texture that makes it perfect for curries.
Tuna is a meaty fish with a strong flavour and a firm texture. It is commonly used in spicy curries that can stand up to its bold taste.
Fish Curry Recipe
Ingredients for a fish curry recipe
- 6 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 200ml full-fat coconut milk
- 600g firm white fish, cut into 4 pieces
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 fresh curry leaf sprigs, leaves picked or around
- 10 dried curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves to serve
- Pour half the oil into a saucepan, put over low-medium heat, and add the garlic, ginger, and onions.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the chilli powder and cumin seeds. Add the tomatoes with the sugar and a pinch of salt, then fry for 5 minutes until the tomatoes soften.
- Add the coconut milk and 300ml water.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Once everything is tender and the sauce has thickened, whizz with a stick blender until smooth. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and leave to one side.
- Marinate the fish with turmeric, garam masala, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
- Put a large frying pan over medium heat, add the remaining oil, then spoon the curry leaves and mustard seeds. Fry for a few minutes until the seeds pop, then add the seasoned fish to the pan.
- Fry the fish for 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned.
- Pour the whizzed sauce into the pan around the fish and simmer.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes until the fish is cooked and the sauce is rich and thick.
- Serve scattered with the coriander leaves and rice on the side.
Coconut Fish Curry Recipe
The dish is typically prepared by simmering the fish in coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and other spices, creating a rich and savoury broth that infuses the fish with flavour. The coconut milk used in this recipe gives the dish a creamy and slightly sweet flavour that pairs perfectly with the spices and tender fish.
- 600g sustainably sourced firm white fish, such as pollock or cod
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp ghee (or butter)
- 1 x 400ml tin full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp tamari (gluten-free soy)
- 1-2 limes
- ½ tsp maple syrup, to taste
For the Spice Paste
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 large onion, halved
- 1 red chilli, or 2 if you want more kick
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3cm piece root ginger
- ½ x 31g pack coriander, leaves, and stalks kept separate – use the stalks only in the paste
- Make the spice paste up to a day ahead; store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
- In a food processor, blend the spice paste ingredients and 1 tablespoon of water together until smooth.
- Cut the fish into 2cm cubes and season with salt and pepper.
- In a medium saucepan, gently toast the mustard seeds until they pop, then add the ghee or butter; add the paste.
- Turn up the heat and fry for about a minute, stirring regularly to stop the bottom from catching.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a medium simmer. Put the lid on for 5 minutes.
- Add the fish cubes to the sauce and gently poach, covered, for about 3-4 minutes, until cooked through.
- Turn off the heat, add the tamari, and squeeze over lime juice. Season to taste, adding the maple syrup if you think it needs a little sweetness for balance.
- Serve topped with the reserved coriander leaves, with steamed broccoli florets or sautéed bok choy.
South Indian Style Fish Curry
This South-Indian dish is really easy to make and is good for you.
- Glug groundnut or olive oil
- 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
- 12 freeze-dried curry leaves
- 1 onion, finely sliced or grated
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
- 400g vine tomatoes, chopped
- 250ml pack of coconut cream (we used Blue Dragon)
- 1 lime, halved, plus extra wedges to serve
- 400-500g skinless pollack fillet, cut into 3cm chunks
- Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
- Steamed rice or warmed naan bread to serve
- Heat a glug of oil in a large frying pan or sauté pan with a lid and fry the mustard seeds and curry leaves until they pop and smell fragrant.
- Stir in the onion, ginger, garlic, and chilli, and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the ground spices and chilli flakes (if using) and cook for another minute.
- Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes (add a splash of water if it looks dry) and continue to cook until the tomatoes break down.
- Stir in the coconut cream and return to a fast simmer, then season and squeeze over the lime (add the rinds to the sauce, too, for extra flavour). Simmer for 5 minutes more until thickened and rich.
- Nestle the fish in the sauce and rest the lid loosely on top.
- Cook over gentle heat for a few minutes until the fish is cooked through and opaque.
- Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves with rice or naan bread and extra lime wedges.
Spicy Thai Fish Curry Recipe
For those who like a bit of heat in their curry, this spicy Thai fish curry recipe is sure to please. The combination of red curry paste, coconut milk, and Thai basil creates a fragrant and flavorful dish that is perfect for a chilly evening.
- 1 pound of fish (any type)
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of red curry paste
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of ginger paste
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- Thai basil for garnish
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger paste and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add the red curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the fish and bell peppers and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
- Add the fish sauce and sugar and stir well.
- Garnish with Thai basil and serve with rice.
Tomato tangy Tamarind recipe
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 red chili, roughly chopped (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)
- a thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 200g green bean, trimmed and halved
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 4 firm white fish fillets (we used hake)
- A handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- cooked basmati rice, to serve
- Blitz together the garlic, chili, ginger, turmeric, and ground coriander with 3 tbsp water.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and toast the cumin and fennel seeds, letting them sizzle until aromatic.
- Add the ginger paste and fry for 3 mins.
- Empty the tomatoes into the spice pan, plus a can of water. Add the beans, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 mins.
- Stir in the tamarind paste. Add the fish fillets, generously season with ground black pepper, cover, and simmer for 10 mins.
- Take off the lid, carefully turn the fillets, then bubble the sauce until the fish is cooked through and the sauce is thick.
- Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and serve with rice.
Keralan Fish Curry Recipe
- 6 shallots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2.5 cm piece of ginger
- 1 fresh green chili
- 750 g firm white fish, from sustainable sources
- groundnut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 20 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 x 400 g tin of light coconut milk
- 1 x 400 g tin of quality chopped tomatoes
- a few sprigs of fresh coriander
- Peel and finely slice the shallots, garlic, and ginger. Trim and finely slice the chili. Cut the fish into chunks.
- Heat a lug of groundnut oil in a large pan, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and cook until the seeds start to pop.
- Add the shallot, garlic, ginger, and chili, and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Mix the chili powder and turmeric together with a splash of water, and stir into the pan. Fry for 1 minute, then add the fish, coconut milk, and tomatoes.
- Season, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the sauce has reduced.
- Pick, chop, and scatter over the coriander leaves. Deliciously served with basmati rice and warm bread.
Tips for Making the Perfect Fish Curry
Making a delicious fish curry is all about balancing the flavors and textures. Here are some tips to keep in mind when making your next curry:
- Choose the right fish
As mentioned earlier, the type of fish you use can make a big difference in the final dish. Choose a fish that has a firm texture and can hold up well in the sauce.
- Don’t overcook the fish
Overcooked fish can become tough and dry. Be sure to monitor the cooking time and remove the fish from the heat as soon as it is cooked through.
- Use fresh ingredients
Fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables will add more flavor to your curry than dried or canned ingredients.
- Taste and adjust
Before serving your curry, be sure to taste it and adjust the seasoning as needed. You may need to add more salt, spice, or acid to balance out the flavors.
Fish curry is a delicious and healthy dish that is perfect for those who love to explore new flavors. With these recipes, you can take your taste buds on a journey around the world, from India to Thailand and beyond.
Whether you prefer a mild and creamy curry or a spicy and tangy one, there is a recipe out there that will suit your taste. So why not give one of these recipes a try and see where your taste buds take you?
Which fish is best for curry?
Firm white fish work best in this dish – some suggestions: Spanish mackerel, tilapia, snapper, barramundi, cod (all types), mahi-mahi, halibut, basa, and ling.
What to eat with fish curry?
How do you thicken fish curry?
If you prefer a slightly thicker sauce then there are two ways you can thicken it. The first would be to reduce the sauce down by boiling, however, it is not ideal in this recipe as it may not leave enough sauce to cook the fish in. The second way would be to use a thickener and cornflour (cornstarch) is easiest to use in this recipe.
How to season fish with curry powder?
Season fish with salt, curry powder, white pepper, and ½ teaspoon garlic, and set aside. You may do this just before cooking but for best results, season the fish and store it overnight in the refrigerator before cooking the following day.