Keralan fish curry, sharp with tamarind & pleasingly spicy, and tempered with coconut milk this simple and quick recipe is a real winner.
Comparatively speaking this curry has far less spicing than many Indian curries which allows the fish to really shine through.
Coconut Fish Curry.
Many of my Indian recipes are heavily influenced by Bengali, Northern Indian and Pakistani food. This was the food that littered the UK food scene (or my UK food scene) at the time I fell in love with eating and cooking.
This Keralan fish curry comes from somewhere a great deal further south, a places where dishes are often lighter and feature a different blend of spices.
The coconut base for this sauce would have been traditionally made using fresh coconut. But I cook for two almost all of the time, so coconut milk saves the day for me.
The flavours here are similar to the ones used in my Indian curry mussels, ginger, garlic, Kashmiri chilli & Mustard seeds.
Here we get the addition of earthy, sour tamarind and some curry leaves and they complement the fish beautifully. Very similar flavours to the ones I use in my pheasant curry.
If you are looking for some other Indian fish dishes, you must check out my whole Tandoori fish, Amritsari fish fry and my salmon tikka recipes. If you want a curry check out my Bengali influenced macher jhol cod curry!
Frequently Asked Questions.
What fish should I use?
I developed this recipe using pollock, but it works well with any flaky and meaty white fish. As a result, cod, hake or haddock would be a like for like replacement.
If you add more water and cook it for longer you could also use monkfish tail.
Can I use tamarind concentrate?
Yes, if you have found one that you like by all means use it. Tamarind concentrate comes in lots of different “strengths” so just tread carefully and do not add too much.
Taste as you add and you should be fine.
Can I add different vegetables?
Yes, of course! You just need to be careful when you add them, broccoli and cauliflower need around 7-12 minutes cooking time in the sauce. Harder vegetables like sweet potato or parsnip can go in at the same time as the potato and carrot.
Ingredients like peas and broad beans need just a couple of minutes to heat through.
This recipe is pretty much a one pot meal, although I do usually served it with a little boiled rice. But it would be just as good with a pilau rice, maybe bling it up with a bit of lemon?
The sauce does beg for bread though, ain’t that always the way with Indian food?
If you move to softer vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, then this is delicious with my roasted Bombay potatoes.
This easy spicy Keralan fish curry features potatoes and green beans alongside perfectly cooked meaty white fish.
- 250g (9oz) Firm White Fish, I use pollock
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
- 1/4 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 50g (25-30mm or 1" Cube) Tamarind Pulp
- 50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Boiling Water
- 12 Curry Leaves
- 2 Green Chilli Peppers
- 150g (1 Cup) Small Potatoes
- 50g (1/2 Cup) Green Beans
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- ½ Thumb Sized Piece Ginger
- 2 (~50-60g total) Shallots
- 1/2 Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
- 165ml (⅔ Cup) Coconut Milk
- 250ml (1 Cup) Water
- 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- Cut the fish into 2.5cm (1") cubes and place in a bowl.
- Sprinkle over the turmeric, kashmiri, chilli pepper, and salt, mix to coat and set aside.
- Pour the boiling water over the tamarind and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Cut the potatoes into 3-4mm thick rounds.
- Cut the green beans into 2-3cm (1") lengths.
- Peel and slice the garlic as thinly as you can.
- Grate the ginger.
- Peel the shallots and cut them in half lengthways then into half moon shapes approximately 2mm thick.
- Cut the green chillies in half lengthways.
- Pass the tamarind you put on soak earlier through a fine mesh sieve.
- Heat a wok over a high heat and when hot add the oil.
- Add the brown mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies, and cook until the seeds spit, this should be pretty immediately.
- Add the shallot, garlic and ginger and cook stirring regularly for 2 minutes.
- Throw in the potatoes and pour in enough water to almost submerge the potatoes this should be around 250ml or 1 cup.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
- Pour in the coconut milk, add the tamarind and stir to combine.
- Slide in the fish and give it a stir then cook for 5-7 minutes. The fish should be almost cooked.
- Add the green beans and cook for a final minute.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 628Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 735mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 7gSugar: 19gProtein: 36g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.