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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Coastal Fish Curry

This recipe of fish curry is a common recipe of the coastal region of Southern India, that includes coastal areas of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa. Maybe just slight changes here and there in spices, but this recipe is more of a Mangalorean speciality.

The place where I belong to, Fish Curry is almost considered to be a sacred food. By 'sacred' I mean, no one is allowed to mess with it. It has to be that 'perfect' curry which only the elder ladies of the family take the privilege to prepare. Making a good fish curry is considered to be an art, and still every household has its own special taste. The best fish curry which I always relish is by my mother and my mother-in -law and of course, the excellent one prepared by my grandmother. 

Nothing for me is more comforting than a bowl of fresh steamed rice topped with an authentic and aromatic fish curry. And I am on my way to master this skill myself, maybe till I get to feed my great grand children.

You might also like similar kind of recipes in my blog:


Recipe for Coastal Fish Curry

Serving: 5 to 6
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

  • 500 gm King Fish (Surmai) or any big fish of your choice
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 cup thick extract  fresh coconut milk ( OR 1 cup warm water + 3 tbsp coconut milk powder)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil (or coconut oil)
  • Salt

For Curry Tadka
  • 1 onion sliced 
  • 2 small green chilies
  • 7 -10 curry leaves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger sliced
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
For Curry Masala
  • 3/4 cup fresh coconut 
  • 10 dry red chilies (medium spicy)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp ( OR 3/4 cup tamarind soaked water)

  1. Cut and clean the fish pieces and keep aside.
  2. Fish Curry Masala: Grind the coconut into a very fine paste by adding few drops of water at a time. 
  3. Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp oil and roast -  10 dry red chilies (medium spicy), 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp whole cumin, 1/2 tsp black pepper corns and 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame.
  4. Then add chopped garlic, ginger, green chili and chopped onion. Roast all of them together for 1 more minute on medium flame. Cool and transfer to a grinding jar along with ground coconut paste and tamarind pulp.
  5. Grind the masala into a fine paste by adding little water as needed. This will take several rounds of grinding, as you need to grind it to a super smooth and fine paste.

  1. Heat a sauce pan with 3 tbsp of cooking oil. Add the fish curry masala, salt, chopped tomato and 3 cups of water (approx). Let it boil slowly and cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
  2. Once the masala is cooked and the raw smell disappears, taste and check the salt and also the sourness in the curry. If you want more spicy then add extra green chilies and also if needed add extra tamarind pulp.
  3. Adjust the consistency of the curry by adding some water if it is too thick and let it boil again.  
  4. Now add fish pieces one by one. 
  5. Do not stir too much with the ladle, as it might break the fish. Just rotate the sauce pan gently to stir. Place the lid and cook on low to medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes or till fish is almost done.
  6. Finally add coconut milk to the boiling curry and cook for 2 minutes on low flame.
  7. Remove from heat and keep warm. 
  8. Curry Tadka: In a separate pan, heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil (or cooking oil). Fry sliced onion till soft and light pink, then add curry leaves, chopped ginger and green chilies. Saute for few seconds on high heat and add the whole tadka to the fish curry.
  9. Serve hot with steamed rice.


  1. oh my,.... love this ! looks so delicious, always on the look out for delicious fish recipes... looks yumm.

  2. I Want to eat , Thanks you for sharing . . . . .
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  3. Nice, Please try to put some mangalorean Other fish curry like mackeral, dole,sardine
    Jew fish(Kodai), squid etc

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