Fish Curry
Fish Curry
5 from 13 votes
Engulf your senses in the rich flavours of fish curry, a culinary masterpiece steeped in history. Prepare for a delightful journey, walking you through the symphony of ingredients and techniques that lend this recipe its irresistible charm.
Fish Curry

My journey starts from the vibrant coasts of India, the birthplace of my star recipe, Fish Curry. Delighting millions with its explosive flavours and warm undertones, this dish has successfully travelled the globe, winning hearts and palates alike.

As someone who loves cooking, the beauty of this recipe is in its flexibility. Beginner or expert, you’re in for a rewarding culinary journey! 

Fish Curry might sound daunting, but don’t be fooled. This aromatic ensemble is deceptively simple, and mastering it is a worthy notch on your culinary belt. The degree of difficulty stands somewhere in the middle, enough to give you a slight challenge, but not too hard that it feels unattainable. 

One of the many wonders of Fish Curry is the abundance of variations that have sprung up over time. From the traditional Indian style, lovingly cooked with a melange of spices, to the Malaysian version, with its sour tamarind base, and the Thai rendition that brings in creamy coconut milk into the mix.  

Each version carries the essence of the dish, interlaced with local flavours, reflecting the culture and cuisine of the region. 

The version we’re focusing on today is the Indian-style Fish Curry. Bursting with flavours of turmeric, chilli, and garlic, this dish is a feast for the senses. Each ingredient has its role, working harmoniously to create a beautiful, flavourful dish that warms you from the inside. 

The art of cooking is about improvisation, and Fish Curry lends itself to this beautifully. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could add a twist of your own to the dish.  

Play around with the choice of fish, or add a splash of coconut milk for a creamier gravy. Or maybe, if you’re a fan of tangy flavours, a squeeze of lime could do the trick. This is your canvas, and you are the artist. 

What we have here is not just a recipe, but a cultural artefact that has shaped and been shaped by the culinary history of multiple cultures. When you cook Fish Curry, you’re not just preparing a meal. You’re participating in a tradition that has been handed down through generations. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Before diving into the heart of the recipe, it’s critical to understand the role each ingredient plays in contributing to the masterpiece that is Fish Curry.  

Not just a random assortment of spices and flavours, these ingredients are carefully selected, each enhancing and balancing the other, creating a symphony of taste that dances on your palate. Let’s unwrap this flavourful parcel, ingredient by ingredient. 

Oil: The oil is our first player on the field. It is more than a cooking medium in this recipe; it is a carrier, a vehicle that infuses the flavours of all the spices into the fish.  

While any cooking oil would work, mustard oil, often used in Indian cuisine, adds a unique sharpness and depth that beautifully complements the spices. However, if you’re looking for a milder flavour, vegetable or canola oil would be an excellent alternative. 

Garlic Paste: The next key component is the garlic paste. Its robust, sharp taste serves as a strong foundation for our curry, and the paste form ensures it infuses seamlessly into the oil, spreading its flavour evenly. In a pinch, you can swap it with garlic powder or even finely chopped fresh garlic. 

Onions: The caramelized onions bring a hint of sweetness that tames the heat of the chillies, rounding off the flavours. Onions also lend a delightful texture to the curry, and their inherent sweetness is drawn out as they cook, complementing the spiciness beautifully. You can substitute it with shallots if you desire a more delicate flavour. 

Tomatoes: Tomatoes, with their acidic tang, add depth and balance to our curry, ensuring it doesn’t become overwhelmingly spicy. The pulpy texture helps to create a thick, rich gravy, which can be substituted with tomato puree for a smoother finish. 

Chilli Powder and Bullet Chillies: The fiery duo of chilli powder and bullet chillies bring in the signature heat that’s synonymous with Indian cuisine. But fear not, the spice levels are adjustable. If you prefer a milder curry, tone down the chilli powder, or pick a less spicy variety of chilli. 

Turmeric Powder: Known for its health benefits and vibrant colour, turmeric brings a subtle earthy bitterness, enhancing the complexity of flavours in our curry. It’s not easily substituted, but in a pinch, a small quantity of saffron could add a similar hue. 

Salt: This humble ingredient is a crucial taste enhancer, balancing and intensifying the flavours of all other ingredients. Though simple table salt works perfectly fine, sea salt or kosher salt could add a more nuanced flavour profile. 

Fish: The fish, is the canvas on which we paint our flavours. It’s soft, flaky texture and mild taste perfectly soak up the spicy, tangy curry. While cod is used in our recipe, feel free to use any firm white fish of your choice. 

Coriander: The finishing touch, fresh coriander, adds a refreshing burst of flavour that contrasts and balances the heat of the curry. If you’re not a fan of coriander, fresh parsley can be used for a different, yet equally delightful, herbal note. 

As we wrap up our exploration of the ingredients, it’s clear to see how each one is integral to crafting the perfect Fish Curry.  

The symphony of flavours we achieve comes from these humble ingredients, each adding a different note, culminating in a dish that’s an explosion of taste. Now, with a better understanding of our ingredients, it’s time to step into the kitchen and create magic with our Fish Curry recipe! 

The Art of Balancing Flavours in Fish Curry 

Creating a delicious fish curry isn’t just about tossing ingredients into a pan and hoping for the best. It’s an art, a process of understanding and harmonizing flavours to create a dish that delights your palate. Let me share my thoughts and insights on how you can achieve this perfect balance. 

Every ingredient in the fish curry has a role to play, a note to add to the symphony of flavours. But the magic happens when these ingredients interact, balancing and complementing each other to create an unforgettably delectable experience. 

Let’s start with the base of the curry – onions and tomatoes. These vegetables, when cooked well, create a foundation that supports and enhances the flavours of the other ingredients.  

The sweetness of the onions offsets the tanginess of the tomatoes, ensuring the curry has a well-rounded flavour. And let’s not forget the spices, the soul of any curry. 

Chilli powder and bullet chillies add the signature heat of Indian cuisine, an integral part of fish curry. But their spiciness isn’t just for show. It serves a deeper purpose – stimulating the palate and enhancing the flavours of the other ingredients. 

Then we have the turmeric, a spice that’s been cherished in Indian cooking for centuries. Its subtle earthy bitterness lends a layer of complexity to the curry, setting it apart from a regular spicy stew. But how can we forget the star of the show, the fish? 

The choice of fish can greatly impact the outcome of your curry. A firm, white fish is often recommended because it can withstand the simmering process without falling apart, while its mild flavour acts as a canvas, absorbing and showcasing the bold, spicy flavours of the curry. 

Finally, the garnish of fresh coriander adds a refreshing note, cutting through the richness of the curry and providing a balanced finish. With every spoonful, you get a burst of flavours – sweet, tangy, spicy, earthy, and fresh. 

Creating the perfect fish curry is like conducting a symphony. It’s about understanding the strengths of each ingredient, knowing when and how to introduce each one into the pan, and how to adjust the flavours along the way.  

It’s this intricate dance of flavours that transforms a simple list of ingredients into a memorable meal. 

A Deep Dive into the Health Benefits of Fish Curry 

Fish curry is not just a feast for your taste buds, but it’s also loaded with health benefits. Let’s explore how this delightful dish can be a nutritious addition to your meal plan. 

The star ingredient of the dish, fish, is a rich source of high-quality protein. It’s also packed with essential nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to benefit heart health and aid brain development.  

Incorporating fish into your diet can contribute to overall health and wellness, and what better way to enjoy it than in a delicious curry? 

But the health benefits of fish curry don’t stop at the fish. The assortment of spices used in this dish also packs a healthy punch.  

Turmeric, for instance, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, largely due to its active compound, curcumin. Incorporating turmeric into your meals can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to several chronic diseases. 

Chilli, another key ingredient, is a powerhouse of Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that supports immune function and promotes healthy skin. Moreover, capsaicin, the compound that gives chillies their heat, has been linked to improved metabolism and fat burning. 

Onions and tomatoes, which form the base of the curry, are rich in dietary fibre and offer a range of vitamins and minerals.  

Onions contain quercetin, a flavonoid with strong antioxidant properties, while tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that’s been linked to heart health. 

Lastly, garlic, a humble but powerful ingredient, is known for its potential medicinal properties. Studies suggest that it can help combat sickness, including the common cold, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. 

Every spoonful of fish curry not only brings an explosion of flavours but also a plethora of health benefits. So the next time you’re enjoying this delicious dish, remember, you’re also nourishing your body with a host of nutrients. Now that’s what I call a win-win situation! 

Unveiling the Secrets of Fish Curry Preparation 

One of the most captivating aspects of preparing fish curry is the intricate dance of flavours and the blend of techniques used. It is a process filled with passion, skill, and respect for the craft. Let me take you through this journey, as we uncover the secrets to preparing a flawless fish curry. 

Firstly, the choice of fish is paramount. Selecting a firm, white fish, such as cod or halibut, is crucial to withstand the simmering process. The gentle flavour of these types of fish provides a canvas on which the bold spices can leave their imprint. 

The preparation begins with sautéing garlic in oil. The sizzling sound of garlic hitting the hot oil is music to my ears, marking the beginning of a flavourful symphony. The aromatic properties of garlic make it an essential starting point, infusing the oil and serving as a flavour base for the curry. 

Next, I add onions. Onions have a complex flavour profile – slightly sweet when raw, they develop a richer, caramel-like flavour upon sautéing. This transformation enhances the depth of the curry, creating a comforting and homey feel. 

The addition of tomatoes follows. The acidity in tomatoes adds a pleasant tanginess to the curry, countering the richness of the other ingredients. Simmered tomatoes also contribute to a thicker, more gratifying curry. 

The spices – turmeric and chilli powder – enter the stage next, blooming in the heat and releasing their vibrant colours and potent flavours. Turmeric lends its earthy bitterness and vivid yellow hue, while chilli powder contributes heat, giving the curry its bold personality. 

Finally, the fish and garnishing of bullet chillies and coriander complete the curry. The fish absorbs the array of flavours, turning into tender, flaky pieces of joy. Bullet chillies amplify the heat, and the coriander, with its fresh, citrusy flavour, brightens up the dish, adding a refreshing finish. 

The Role of Spices in Fish Curry – Unmasking the Flavour Makers 

The power of spices in a curry is immeasurable. They are the soul, the essence, the character of the curry. This article is a tribute to these flavour makers, showcasing their role in crafting a delectable fish curry. 

At the heart of fish curry lies a trio of spices – turmeric, chilli powder, and garlic paste. Each spice has a unique role, adding a different dimension to the curry, and layering it with flavours, aromas, and colours. 

Turmeric, with its deep golden colour and earthy, slightly bitter flavour, serves as the backbone of the curry. It offers a mild, warm undertone that forms the base of the curry’s flavour profile.  

Turmeric also has the magic to mellow out the sharpness of other ingredients, knitting together flavours, and creating a harmonious blend. 

Chilli powder, the fiery component, adds heat to the curry, enhancing the flavours and awakening the senses. But it’s not just about the heat; chilli powder also imparts a vibrant colour to the curry, making it visually appealing. 

Garlic paste is a humble yet powerful player in the curry. Its pungent, robust flavour is pivotal in setting the right tone for the curry. It lends a depth of flavour that resonates throughout the curry, amplifying the tastes of other ingredients. 

The magic of these spices isn’t just about their individual contributions. It’s about how they work together, complementing and balancing each other, to create a dish that’s greater than the sum of its parts.  

The symphony they create in a fish curry is a testament to the wonders of Indian cuisine and the power of spices.  

The Alchemy of Onions in a Fish Curry 

There’s something truly magical about onions. They’re a humble, everyday ingredient, but in the hands of a skilled cook, they can transform a dish from ordinary to extraordinary. Let me tell you about how onions work their magic in a fish curry. 

Onions bring a wealth of flavours to a dish. When I first toss them into the pan, they have a sharp, almost spicy bite. But as they cook, they transform. The heat tames their bite and coaxes out their natural sugars. They become sweet and mellow, adding depth and richness to the curry. 

Onions also contribute texture to the curry. When finely chopped and sautéed until golden, they melt into the curry, thickening it and giving it body. This quality makes them an essential ingredient in many sauces and gravies, fish curry included. 

Furthermore, onions also have a synergistic effect with other ingredients. They complement the tanginess of the tomatoes, enhance the heat of the chilli powder, and mellow the bitterness of the turmeric. It’s like they’re the conductor of an orchestra, ensuring all the flavours play in harmony. 

Fish Curry and Its Love Affair with Tomatoes 

In the world of culinary arts, some ingredients seem to be made for each other. One such classic pair is fish and tomatoes. When combined in a curry, these two create a match made in heaven, and here’s why. 

Tomatoes bring a unique combination of flavours to a fish curry. Their natural acidity adds a bright, tangy note that cuts through the richness of the fish and spices. This balance ensures that the curry is flavourful but not overwhelming. 

Not just flavour, tomatoes also lend a gorgeous colour to the curry. As they simmer and break down, they release their vibrant red hue, giving the curry an appealing look. After all, we eat with our eyes first, and a colourful curry is always more enticing. 

Additionally, tomatoes also contribute to the curry’s texture. When cooked down, they thicken the curry, giving it body and substance. This makes every spoonful of the curry more satisfying, enhancing the eating experience. 

Moreover, the slight sweetness of tomatoes complements the flavours of fish beautifully. It’s like they’re dancing together in the curry, each one enhancing the other, creating a flavour profile that’s complex and delightful. 

Tomatoes are the secret ingredient that ties everything together in a fish curry. They balance the flavours, enhance the colour and texture, and create a beautiful synergy with the fish.  

A Deep Dive into Fish Choices for Curry 

The charm of a perfectly made fish curry lies not only in the robust mix of spices but also in the choice of fish used. This article is dedicated to exploring the importance of choosing the right fish for your curry. 

Using a white-fleshed fish, like cod or halibut, makes a world of difference in a fish curry. These fish have a mild flavour that does not overpower the boldness of the spices, instead, it absorbs and complements them. It’s like a blank canvas that beautifully showcases the vibrant flavours of the curry. 

In terms of texture, a firm-fleshed fish is crucial. This type of fish holds its shape and doesn’t fall apart during cooking, resulting in chunks of succulent fish that add body and richness to the curry. 

The thickness of the fish plays a role too. Thick pieces of fish are great for curries as they can withstand the heat and simmering without getting overcooked or falling apart. The thickness also ensures that the fish absorbs the flavours evenly, providing a burst of flavour with every bite. 

Bullet Chillies and Coriander – Adding the Final Flourish to Fish Curry 

A good curry is like a beautiful painting. It requires careful layering of colours and textures, culminating in a final flourish that brings everything together. In a fish curry, that final flourish comes from the garnish of bullet chillies and coriander. 

Bullet chillies are a revelation in the curry. They are small but pack a punch. When added towards the end, they infuse the curry with a final hit of heat, making the flavours more intense and the experience more exciting. 

But the heat of the chillies is not unbridled. It is tempered by the cooling freshness of coriander.  

Coriander leaves, with their bright, citrusy flavour, offset the heat of the chillies and add a refreshing note to the curry. They act like a palate cleanser, preventing the heat from becoming overwhelming and ensuring that every bite of the curry is as enjoyable as the first. 

Furthermore, bullet chillies and coriander also enhance the visual appeal of the curry. The red of the chillies and the green of the coriander create a vibrant contrast against the rich, golden curry, making it as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the palate. 

Bullet chillies and coriander are not just garnishes. They’re the final pieces of the puzzle that complete the curry. They balance the flavours, enhance the appearance, and elevate the eating experience.  

Unleashing the Power of Turmeric in Fish Curry 

Turmeric – it is a spice that has been treasured for centuries for its unique flavour and health benefits. But in the context of a fish curry, it plays an even bigger role. Let’s delve into how turmeric takes a humble fish curry to a whole new level. 

When I add turmeric to my fish curry, something transformative happens. The curry instantly takes on a deep, rich, golden hue. It’s a colour that’s both appealing to the eye and indicative of a flavour that’s warm and earthy. 

Turmeric brings more than just colour to the curry. Its distinct flavour profile – earthy, bitter, and slightly peppery – adds a unique dimension to the curry. It harmonizes with the sweetness of the onions, the tanginess of the tomatoes, and the heat of the chillies, creating a flavour symphony that’s complex and captivating. 

Moreover, turmeric has a subtle but significant effect on the texture of the curry. Its natural thickening properties help to give the curry body and substance, making each spoonful rich and satisfying. 

Embracing Garlic’s Pungent Charm in Fish Curry 

Garlic – it’s an ingredient that evokes strong reactions. Some people love it, others shy away from its pungent aroma. But when it comes to a fish curry, garlic is an absolute game-changer. 

When I add garlic to my fish curry, it adds a depth and intensity of flavour that’s hard to match. Its potent aroma infuses the oil, forming a flavour base that’s aromatic, savoury, and slightly sweet. 

But garlic does more than just lend flavour to the curry. It also contributes to the curry’s texture. When cooked, garlic becomes soft and mellow, melting into the curry and thickening it subtly. 

Plus, garlic has an uncanny ability to complement and enhance other flavours. It pairs perfectly with the sweet onions, tangy tomatoes, and hot chillies, elevating their flavours and adding a layer of complexity to the curry. 

Last but not least, garlic has some impressive health benefits too. It’s packed with antioxidants, can help boost the immune system and even reduce blood pressure. 

So, don’t be put off by garlic’s strong aroma. Embrace it, and it will reward you with a fish curry that’s flavourful, satisfying, and packed with health benefits. Trust me, once you’ve experienced the magic of garlic in a fish curry, there’s no going back. 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

Do you think the Fish Curry was a revelation? Wait until you lay your hands on these exquisite seafood-inspired dishes that I have personally chosen for you.  

These recipes, you see, are my top picks, handpicked for their perfect harmony with the original Fish Curry recipe. They’re as tempting as the azure ocean and as irresistible as a seafood platter in a high-end restaurant.

Let me take you to the tantalizing realms of the Coconut Prawn Curry. Succulent prawns bathed in a creamy, coconut-infused gravy that’s a symphony of flavours, this dish makes me long for a seat by the beach with a tropical sunset painting the sky. 

And, oh, the Fish Tikka! I can’t even begin to tell you how this classic recipe has made my dinner parties the talk of the town. Marinated to perfection, the fish gets a smoky twist from the tandoor that is absolutely divine. 

Don’t even get me started on the Battered Fish. Imagine crisp golden batter giving way to perfectly cooked, flaky fish. It’s a classic and for a good reason. 

Lastly, let’s talk about the Tuna Chickpea Curry. This wholesome, hearty curry is not only a nutrition powerhouse but also a delight to the senses. I love how the firm texture of tuna meshes beautifully with the chickpeas, all enveloped in a flavourful curry sauce. 

All of these recipes have a special place in my heart and in my kitchen. I encourage you to try them out and let me know how it goes in the comments section. I assure you, they are all worth it, and I am waiting eagerly to hear about your culinary adventures. 

Fish Curry

Fish Curry

by Nabeela Kauser
Engulf your senses in the rich flavours of fish curry, a culinary masterpiece steeped in history. Prepare for a delightful journey, walking you through the symphony of ingredients and techniques that lend this recipe its irresistible charm.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6
Calories 265 kcal


  • 100 ml Oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 3 Onions
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 2 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 500 g Fish
  • 2 Bullet Chillies
  • 1 handful Coriander
  • 300 ml Water


  • In a pan heat up the oil and add the garlic paste and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant
  • Add the chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and soft
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes become soft
  • Add chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt then cook the spices for 4-5 minutes, adding the water to ensure the spices do not burn
  • As the spices cook cut the cod fish into chunks and gently mix then cook for 5 minutes until the fish is cooked
  • Add the finely chopped coriander and bullet chillies and cook until the oil has separated – the oil has separated when there are small bubbles appearing and the oil has formed a thin layer on top
  • Serve immediately and enjoy with fresh naan bread!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 265kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 18gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 446mgPotassium: 577mgFibre: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 804IUVitamin C: 45mgVitamin D: 3µgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cooking, Curry, Dinner, Fish, Food, Recipe, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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