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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Snip off all of the fins using some sharp kitchen scissors.
- 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.
- Take a sharp knife and cut along the backbone as close as you can.
- Keep working staying as close to the core of the fish as possible.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Grind these spices to a fine powder, add half of the turmeric and set aside.
- 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.
- Remove the seeds from the tomato and cut it into a 1-1.5cm (½") dice.
- Finely dice the red onion.
- By now the potatoes should be cooked drain them and lightly crush them with the back of a fork.
- 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.
- Add the ghee to a 28cm or 11" frying pan and melt.
- Then add the onion, tomato and fenugreek to the ghee and cook for a minute or two
- Then add the crushed potatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- 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.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the coconut milk and tamarind.
- Stir and simmer on low whilst we cook the fish.
- Make diagonal slits just through the skin of the fillets.
- Generously season the fish fillets with salt and then sprinkle with the remaining turmeric.
- Add a little oil to a 30cm or 12" nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat.
- Add the fish skin side down and cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook for another minute.
- 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.
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.