A classic coconut fish curry is a true taste of India

It is a staple in every southern Indian family because it is so easy to prepare. I like to serve it alongside rice and cucumber salad. Ask your fishmonger to make steaks from the fish. They will do it with skill and ensure that the steaks hold together with the help the a central bony. 


1 tsp ground turmeric

Add a pinch of salt

juice of ½ lime

600g cod or monkfish, sea bass, cut into 3.5 cm-thick steaks

60g of white onion, roughly chopped

4 cm ginger root, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 tbsp vegetable olive oil

1 tsp of black mustard seeds

5 whole green cardamom beans

2 green chillies, slit in length

5-7 curry leaves

100ml water

½ tsp sugar

Salt, to taste

400ml coconut milk

1 heaped teaspoon tamarind paste

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

To garnish, add 2 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves.

  • Mix ½ tsp of the ground turmeric with the salt and lime juice and rub into the fish steaks, then set aside. Blend the onion, ginger, garlic and water in a blender. Add a splash more water to create a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in an oven-proof saucepan on medium heat. As soon as the mustard seeds start to sputter add the green chillies, cardamom pods and curry leaves. Fry the onion, ginger, and garlic paste for about 1-2 minutes. Next, add the remaining ground curry along with the water and sugar. Mix well, and let simmer for 1 minute.
  • Reduce the heat to low, then add the fish steaks. Let them cook for one more minute. Cover the pan with coconut milk and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until the fish is tender and cooked through. Give the pan a gentle swirl a couple of times to make sure everything is mixed but the fish pieces don’t break up.
  • Stir in the tamarind paste and black pepper. Let it simmer for one minute.
  • Serve with plain basmati rice or a cucumber salad