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Squid Curry with Coconut and Tamarind

Squid curry is my take on a quick and wonderfully spicy, fragrant Indian calamari ring recipe cooked in a spicy coconut milk based sauce.

This delicious and unusual curry is relatively easy to cook and will go from your fridge to your table in a shade over 30 minutes.

Indian-influenced squid ring curry in a coconut sauce.

Indian Influenced Calamari and Coconut Curry

So many of my curry recipes are influenced by the Great British curry house, I have everything from the iconic chicken tikka masala to lamb bhuna.

This Indian squid ring curry is very different, it’s loosely influenced by a combination of influences from Kerela and Goa in the southeast of India.

It is built on a similar sauce to my coconut chicken curry, which fuses coconut milk with fresh coconut to make a wonderful gravy.

Rather than cooking the squid in the sauce I quickly fry it in oil with a generous sprinkle of spice and then add it to the sauce.

This ensures that the squid stays nice and tender, and the spice profile bright and vibrant. It also speeds up the cooking of the dish which will go from your fridge to your table in a little over 30 minutes!

Close-up overhead Indian-influenced calamari ring curry in a spicy coconut sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen squid?

Yes, I have made this curry recipe with both frozen and fresh squid and the only difference is that frozen squid rings are often cut to varying thicknesses.

As a result, the curry has different textures, which I think is quite nice, but the inconsistency in size can lead to chewy squid if you are not careful.

Do I have to use fresh coconut?

No, I usually use frozen coconut, quite often I buy a fresh coconut, grate it and freeze it.

However, you can buy perfectly good fresh frozen grated coconut in Indian stores that does the job perfectly.

Can I use desiccated coconut or coconut flakes?

No, these are dried products and I do not advise their use in this recipe.

Can I use low-fat coconut milk?

Low-fat coconut milk is full-fat coconut milk with added water, I avoid it like the plague.

Can I use tamarind concentrate?

In theory yes, however, you will need to experiment with different brands adding it to taste.

I find that they vary considerably and because of that they are difficult for me to use. Also adding too much gives an almost metallic taste to a recipe.

Overhead Indian-influenced squid ring curry in a coconut sauce.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, as far as I am concerned no curry is complete without flatbread and this squid curry ain’t no different!

Here it is pictured with a Tandoori style naan bread, but a few chapatis would go down a treat too.

Likewise, it’s hard to go wrong with curry and rice. I personally usually opt for plain rice, although a nice pilau rice would be perfect too.

Potatoes are also superb served on the side of this curry.

Whilst my roast Bombay potatoes and aloo methi recipes are North Indian in influence they also taste great dipped in this coconut sauce!

Close-up Indian-influenced calamari ring curry in a spicy coconut 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.
  • Wok.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan or skillet.
  • Small mixing bowl.
  • Fork for mashing tamarind and a spoon to push it through a sieve.
  • Fine mesh sieve.
  • Blender.
  • Kicthen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
South Indian influenced squid ring or calamari curry with a coconut milk sauce.
Yield: 2 Servings

Indian Squid Ring and Coconut Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This wonderful Indian squid curry has loose Keralan influences and features quickly fried spiced calamari rings finished in a beautiful coconut-based sauce.


  • 300-350g Squid (Calamri) Rings
  • 25g (25mm or 1" Cube) Tamarind Pulp
  • 25ml (2 Tbsp) Boiling Water
  • 75g (¾ Cup) Grated Coconut (Defrosted if Frozen)
  • 2 (70g Total) Banana Shallots
  • 3 Dried Kashmiri Chilli Peppers
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Fish Stock
  • 18-24 Curry Leaves
  • 1 X 10cm Piece of Cassia Bark
  • 4 Green Cardamom Pods
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 200g (7oz) Tin Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ Tsp Ground Coriander
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves


  1. Place the tamarind in a bowl, pour over the boiling water, give it a rough mash then let it sit for 10 minutes. After the tamarind has soaked pass it through a fine mesh sieve.
  2. Cut the shallots in half, peel them then cut them into a rough 1cm (½") dice.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves with the heel of your hand then peel them.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a wok over a medium-high heat and add the garlic, shallots, dried chillies and grated coconut and cook until the coconut begins to take on some colour, this will take around 3-4 minutes. Then transfer this to a blender.
  5. Pour the fish stock into the blender and blitz the coconut to a smooth paste.
  6. Return the wok to a high heat and add another tablespoon of oil add the curry leaves, cassia bark, green cardamom pods and star anise and fry for 30 seconds.
  7. Add the coconut puree that we created earlier along with the coconut milk and tamarind, then stir to combine everything.
  8. Heat a second 30cm or 12" skillet or frying pan (nonstick if possible) over a very high heat and when it is hot add the remaining tablespoon of oil followed by the squid rings and stir fry them for 1 minute.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and toss through the chilli powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and toss to coat, then scrape everything into the coconut sauce and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
  10. Crush the dried fenugreek leaves between your palms over the wok and cook for a final minute then serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 785Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 408mgSodium: 789mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 6gSugar: 21gProtein: 32g

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!

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