Monkfish curry with coconut milk, this is a quick and easy fish curry with south Indian influences that is as delicious as it is simple.
When I say quick, the cooking of this delicious fish curry takes around 20 minutes and prep weighs in at a leisurely 10 minutes.
South Indian Easy Fish Curry
My love of curries from around the world is hardly hidden under a bushel, likewise, my love of fish sits front and centre on my website.
This South Indian-style dish shares a little in common with my Keralan influenced fish curry, squid curry and South Indian coconut chicken curry. However, this recipe uses the unique properties of monkfish tail.
Once upon a time, it was used as a cheaper substitute for scampi because of its similar meaty texture. It is no longer cheaper and is a much-prized and well-thought-of fish.
It is a luxurious purchase though and this dish scales back some of the really bold curry flavours to ensure that the flavour is not overwhelmed.
But this simple curry is quick to make and requires very few kitchen skills. The most important part of the recipe is preparation, get everything chopped before you start cooking and you are good to go!
If you have any monkfish left over, be sure to give my breaded fish goujons a whirl, they taste superb.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use another type of fish?
This curry is designed to make the most of the very robust and almost meaty nature of monkfish.
You could use other white fish like cod, pollock, coley hake (whiting) or halibut but you will need to be much more careful when poaching the fish. It will almost certainly break up a little.
You can prevent this a little by curing the fish in salt and sugar for around an hour. This is something that I do in my Amritsari fish pakora.
Can I use a different type of stock?
Personally speaking, I would rather use water than subbing out for vegetable or chicken stock in this recipe. Just be sure to add enough salt to balance the dish.
How spicy is this curry?
No there is the million-dollar question. I find this curry to be medium to hot, however, your tolerance to chilli will almost definitely be different to mine!
You should increase or decrease the chillies and chilli powder te be to your preference based on your experience.
Can I use regular tomatoes?
Yes, use 1-2 medium tomatoes that weigh around 150-175g in total. Cut them into a 1-1.5cm dice.
Do I have to use Saffron?
No, you can omit it. It is expensive but it has a uniquely wonderful flavour and as monkfish is a luxury I figured I’d go the whole hog on treating us!
Do I have to cook this in a wok?
No, I like to use a wok for a lot of my Indian cookery. You could use a medium (24cm or 10″) saucepan, I would avoid using a frying pan as the sauce will not sit deeply enough to poach the fish.
I like to serve this South Indian style monkfish curry with rice and bread.
As for garnish, I would usually opt for more fresh coriander. If you really wanted to go the extra mile some crispy fried onions.
None of the equipment listed is specific to any brand unless otherwise stated:
- Wok, I use a large carbon steel wok but anything will do.
- Chopping Board.
- Sharp kitchen knife.
This delicious South Indian influenced monkfish curry comes with a spicy coconut milk gravy and can go from your fridge to your table in around 30 minutes!
- 350g Monkfish
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Garam Masala
- 1 (35g) Shallot
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Green Chilli Peppers
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 8 Curry Leaves
- 1 Tsp Black Mustard Seeds
- 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
- 100ml (⅓ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Fish Stock
- 250ml (1 Cup) Coconut Milk
- Pinch Saffron
- ⅛ Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- ⅛ Tsp Ground Coriander
- ⅛ Tsp Amchoor
- ⅛ Tsp Cardamom Powder
- ⅛ Tsp Sugar
- Handful of fresh coriander
- Makes sure that you remove any membrane from the monkfish then cut it into large chunks.
- Sprinkle the monkfish chunks with the garam masala and half of the salt and set aside.
- Peel the shallot, then cut it in half then slice it into thin (1-2mm) half-moon shapes.
- Peel and slice the garlic cloves as finely as you can.
- Cut the green chillies in half lengthways.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Heat a wok over a high heat and when it is hot add the cooking oil.
- Throw in the mustard seeds, slit green chillis and curry leaves and cook for 30-60 seconds.
- Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute.
- Throw in the cherry tomatoes and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the fish stock, lemon juice, and coconut milk and add the saffron, then stir to combine.
- Stir in the chilli powder, coriander powder, amchoor, cardamom powder, sugar, and remaining salt then simmer for 5 minutes. Be careful with the salt, have a taste before you add it because it may not be needed depending on your fish stock.
- Add the monkfish, stir to coat and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the monkfish is opaque spooning over some sauce every minute or two.
- Finally, stir through the chopped coriander leaves just before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 742mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 39g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.