Recipes Main Courses Seafood Indian Fish Curry

Indian Fish Curry

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Fish curry is traditionally a simple dish where the fish is the star. For a heartier meal, add 1/2 cup frozen petite peas when you add the fish. Or add 1 zucchini cut into small pieces, along with the coconut milk. Serve the curry over steamed rice.


  • 1 Tbs. canola oil or clarified unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs. minced ginger
  • 1 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk, well shaken
  • 2 small jalapeño or serrano chilies, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 lb. rockfish, snapper, cod or other white-fleshed fish fillets, pin bones removed and fillets cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup hot water


Make the curry base
In a deep fry pan or wok over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion is soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, chilies and 1 tsp. of the salt. Cook until fragrant and slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

Season the fish
Meanwhile, place the fish in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the turmeric and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and toss to coat evenly.

Finish the curry
Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and hot water to the curry base and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Add the fish to the curry and cook until it begins to flake apart, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).