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Sea Bass Curry with Crushed Fenugreek Potatoes

This sea bass curry may not look like a classic curry, but it features all of the glorious flavours of a Goan Fish Curry & looks pretty too.

Elegant sea bass fillet curry served with fenugreek potatoes

Fish Fillet Curry

Curry is rarely considered to be “a bit of a looker” in the food world. It is usually associated with big hearty bowls of brown food with the occasional splash of green.

Curry is also not often thought of as dinner party fodder.

This Indian sea bass curry recipe demonstrates that it is perfectly possible to dress up the humble curry without losing flavour.

Now I have no issue with brown food!

I have knocking on the door of 100 curry recipes on my site, my lamb madras is a glorious shade of chocolate brown, my chicken pasanda is a golden brown & I pretty much have every shade in between.

But this recipe is not at all superficial, it tastes fantastic too!

The sauce itself is hot and sour but tempered with coconut milk much like my pheasant curry and monkfish curry.

The mellow sourness is perfect for the turmeric-spiced sea bass and the rich fenugreek potatoes!

It joins other fish curry recipes like my Goan mackerel curry, Indian squid curry, Indian inspired salmon curry, Thai red salmon curry, Thai green cod curry and an Indian Prawn curry,

I also have an unusual but delicious curry mussels recipe as well as a superb salmon tikka recipe.

Of course, I also have my take on a classic keralan fish curry and an unusual but delicious macher jhol, a Bengali influenced cod curry.

Overhead sea bass fillet curry served with fenugreek potatoes

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different types of fish?

Yes, I cook this fish curry recipe with 4 different types of fish with the same sauce. Sea Bream, Sea Bass, Trout, Pike Perch (AKA Zander or Walleye)

I have no particular preference and just use what I can get my hands on.

Can I prepare this in advance?

Yes, if you are planning this for a date night or dinner party then you can get a big head start.

The curry sauce can be made 3-4 days in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Gently reheat before serving.

The potatoes can be made earlier on the day of the recipe and again gently reheated in a pan.

That leaves you nothing to do but season and fry the fish and be a vivacious host.

Can I swap out the potatoes?

Yes, a nice vegetable pilau rice would work really well.

Just drop it into an aluminium form and pour around the sauce if you want to keep the same styling.

Close up Sea bass curry featuring a tamarind curry sauce & Fenugreek potatoes

How to Fillet a Round Fish

Absolutely 100%, the best way to fillet fish is to get your fishmonger to do it for you!

That option aside it is perfectly possible to fillet fish at home. This is a general guide for ’round fish’ similar to the sea bass that I use in this curry.

  1. You will need to descale the fish first. You can get all sorts of tools for this, but to be honest scraping with a knife works perfectly well.
  2. Snip off all of the fins using some sharp kitchen scissors.
  3. Then grab a sharp knife and cut the head off. You want to do this at an angle on the body side of the ‘fin’ on the side of the fish. The angle should lean towards the head of the fish making the ‘belly end’ shorter.
  4. Take a sharp knife and cut along the backbone as close as you can.
  5. Keep working staying as close to the core of the fish as possible.
  6. Remove the fillet and flip over and using a pair of tweasers and remove the pin bones. Running your finger along the fish from the head end toward the tail will help identify the bones.
  7.  Finally, flip over the fish and repeat from part 4 with the second fillet.

There are some pictures in this “how to” from Leiths on how to fillet a round fish. It is a little different to my technique but it works!

Overhead sea bass curry featuring turmeric fish fillets and tamarind curry sauce

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 18cm or 7″ saucepan.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan.
  • 30cm or 12″ nonstick frying pan.
  • Chopping board.
  • Mini blender.
  • Spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Mixing and prep bowls.
  • Fine mesh sieve.
  • Sieve or colander.
  • Small fine mesh sieve.
  • Fish slice or spatula.
  • Stirring and serving spoons and forks.
  • “Fish” tweezers if you need to pin bone the fish.
Sea bass curry featuring turmeric fish fillets and tamarind curry sauce & Fenugreek potatoes
Yield: 2 Servings

Sea Bass Curry Recipe with Fenugreek Potatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Classic European styling meets classic Indian Flavours in this sea bass curry! Sure it looks fancy but it is all very simple and cooks in around 30 minutes!


For the Fish

  • 4 Sea Bass Fillets
  • ¾-1 Tsp Turmeric
  • ¼-½ Tsp Salt

For the Potatoes

  • 350g (2 Cups) Waxy Potatoes
  • 1 Large Tomato
  • 50g (⅓ Cup) Red Onion
  • 25g (2 Tbsp) Ghee
  • 1 Tbsp Fenugreek
  • ½Tsp Salt

For the Sauce

  • 2 Dried Red Chili Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 50g (⅓ Cup) Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Coconut Milk
  • 20g (¾" Cube) Tamarind
  • 20ml (1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Boiling Water
  • ½ Tsp Turmeric
  • ¼ Tsp Salt


  1. Cut the potatoes into 1-1.5cm (½") chunks and cook in boiling salted water in an 18cm or 7" saucepan until just cooked, around 15 minutes.
  2. In a dry 28cm or 11" frying pan toast the cumin, coriander, mustard seeds and dried chili pepper for 60 seconds over a high heat.
  3. Grind these spices to a fine powder, add half of the turmeric and set aside.
  4. Peel the garlic and onion and roughly chop them, then place them in a mini blender with a tablespoon of water and blend to a smooth paste.
  5. Remove the seeds from the tomato and cut it into a 1-1.5cm (½") dice.
  6. Finely dice the red onion.
  7. By now the potatoes should be cooked drain them and lightly crush them with the back of a fork.
  8. Place the tamarind in a small bowl and pour over the boiling water, mash it a little, then let it sit for 10 minutes. After it has soaked mash it again then pass it through a fine mesh sieve.
  9. Add the ghee to a 28cm or 11" frying pan and melt.
  10. Then add the onion, tomato and fenugreek to the ghee and cook for a minute or two
  11. Then add the crushed potatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  12. Heat the cooking oil in an 18cm or 7" saucepan over a medium high heat and add the spice blend and cook for 30 seconds.
  13. Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
  14. Add in the coconut milk and tamarind.
  15. Stir and simmer on low whilst we cook the fish.
  16. Make diagonal slits just through the skin of the fillets.
  17. Generously season the fish fillets with salt and then sprinkle with the remaining turmeric.
  18. Add a little oil to a 30cm or 12" nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat.
  19. Add the fish skin side down and cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook for another minute.
  20. Plate with the potatoes in the middle of a plate, add sauce around the sides and then place the fish fillets on top of the potatoes.


Try and get your fishmonger to fillet the fish, my timings for this recipe assume that is the case.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 714Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 1019mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 9gSugar: 9gProtein: 28g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 5th of February 2023

Would pan fried mackerel be suitable instead of sea bass. Thanks Laurence

Laurence Forecast

Sunday 5th of February 2023

Hi Brian. I do many of your recipe's and on this sea bass recipe, do you think it would go with salmon or cod as I have some in the freezer,also I don't have tamarind pulp but tamarind concentrate instead. How much concentrate should I use instead of pulp as in the past I have used too much concentrate and we know that can be overpowering. Just thought if you could give me any thoughts? (Do love your cheese and potato pie, sausages and beans recipe) absolutely delish, also want to do your spam fritters recipe too. Keep up the good work. Follow your website all the time. Many thanks. Laurence.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 14th of February 2023

Hey Laurence, good to hear from you, sorry it took a while to respond life has got a bit hectic here.

This recipe is very much designed with a lighter "white" fish in mind and as a result, cod would work wonderfully. I've not tried it with an oily fish but the flavours will not overwhelm it, in fact you could go bolder with the spicing for either salmon or mackerel that you mention in a later comment.

If you have mackerel on the bone I have two corking mackerel curries that are developed with it in mind, one Indian and one Thai.

All the best



Tuesday 13th of September 2022

Omg! This recipe blown my mind! It was so light yet full of flavour! And everything together tastes so nice! Definitely will be making it again ! May thanks

Brian Jones

Thursday 15th of September 2022

So glad that you liked it Sylvia, I love this dish and I'm glad you found it :)


Monday 21st of February 2022

Great dish. Thank you for sharing. We loved it.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Glad you enjoyed it :)


Thursday 17th of February 2022

Hi At what stage do you add the Tamarind pulp to the curry sauce? 🙏 thanks

Brian Jones

Thursday 17th of February 2022

It's listed at section 13, I've just had a look at the recipe and the instructions are not up to my normal standards, so I will be heading back to this in the coming weeks and improve the write up :)

Sorry for any confusion.


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