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South Indian Fish Curry

  • 10 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 4
South Indian Fish Curry

Curry leaves can be purchased fresh and dried and they are the “bay leaf" of Indian cuisine. It is their unique taste that gives South Indian and Sri Lankan curries their flavour.


  • 600 grams medium or firm-textured fish
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder or ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 long thin green chillies, split
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2-4 whole peppercorns
  • 6-8 curry leaves (fresh or dried)


  1. Cut the fish into large 5cm long pieces and place in a dish. Mix half the curry powder or turmeric with the lemon or lime juice and pour over the fish. Season with salt, turn to coat, cover and set aside.
  2. Cook the onion, chillies, garlic and ginger in a good dash of oil in a frying pan over a moderately-low heat for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft and lightly coloured.
  3. Add the tomato, peppercorns and curry leaves and stir into the cooked mixture. Stir in the coconut milk and remaining curry powder or turmeric. Simmer gently uncovered for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the fish pieces and cover. Poach for about 5-7 minutes until the fish is just cooked.
  5. Season with salt and pepper if wished.

Cooks Tips

Cooking time for the fish will depend on its thickness. Flake the thickest part of the fish and should the fillet easily separate it will be cooked.

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