South Indian - Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

South Indian Curry – Delicious Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

South Indian Curry – Delicious Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

This South Indian style, Goan / Keralan fish curry recipe will show you exactly how to make a beatiful, coconutty, spicy fish curry, just as they would have it in the Southern Indian states like Goa and Kerala! Just before we begin, if you like the look of the bowls I’ve used, you’ll find some just like them right here! And just so you know, that was an affiliate link for which I earn commission whenever anyone makes a purchase.

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South Indian Curry Recipe | Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe
South Indian – Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

Introduction

I’m taking a momentary break from my journey into Thai cuisine. And what an enormous step I’m making. Today, we’re going to make our way all the way over to the south of India, where we’re going to make a fresh, zingy curry with seafood, chilli coconut milk and tamarind.

Ok, maybe it’s not such a big departure after all!

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I never really understood fish curry until I started cooking it myself. This might be because it isn’t a common thing in Indian restaurants. Or it might just be because I like the bite and texture of a good piece of meat.

Somehow, it feels as though the fish in a fish curry is just going to break apart and disintegrate. But then, maybe that’s the point?

Not to disintegrate, of course – dishes like this one have notoriously short cooking times to make sure that doesn’t happen. But to provide a delicate protein that quickly absorbs flavour and imparts a subtle, but valuable flavour of its own!

South Indian - Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe
South Indian – Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

About the dish

Kerala lies at the very Southmost point of the Indian coastline. And Goa lies only a short way – relatively speaking! – to the Northwest. Both are coastal regions and as such, both Goan and Keralan curry recipes can tend to contain two wonderful ingredients.

Firstly, fish. As coastal regions, the people in both have fantastic access to fresh fish. And they use it. To wonderful effect!

Secondly, Goan and Keralan curry recipes both tend to contain a lot of coconut milk. In this instance, because coconuts are so common in coastal areas.

Ultimately, we cook with what’s around us. I live in the countryside, so I cook with a lot of beef. You might live deep in the middle of the moorland and cook with a lot of game!

In kind, those in coastal Indian areas would be foolish not to make use of the ingredients that grow all around them. And as such, in both areas, very similar spices are used to flavour these beautiful dishes!

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About this South Indian – Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

This South Indian curry recipe is very straightforward. It’s also a fairly standard example of this sort of curry.

I have also included a few mushrooms. They aren’t necessarily part of the dish. But they aren’t necessarily not. If you want something a little simpler, feel free to just use fish.

Or you could adjust the ingredients you include to make the dish fresher, earthier, vegetarian or vegan. Or take it in whatever direction you want!

Finally, you could serve this dish with whatever you like. But I would absolutely recommend a wonderful, fragrant side of rice or some homemade, delicious Indian flatbreads!

Oh, and if you like the look of the bowls I’ve used, you’ll find some just like them right here! And just so you know, that was an affiliate link for which I earn commission whenever anyone makes a purchase.

South Indian - Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe
South Indian – Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

Things to remember!

  • Whilst this is a fish curry, there’s no reason the fish couldn’t be swapped out for any kind of seafood you like. As long as you adjust the cooking times appropriately.
  • You could even swap the fish out for meat. Both Kerala and Goa are considerably more relaxed in their approach to meat consumption than many other regions in India. In Kerala in particular, even beef and pork are quite happily eaten by everyone. Even by some of the Indian and Muslim population.
  • Of course, if you do add meat to the dish, be careful about the cooking times. The fish cooks in just a few short minutes. Chicken won’t!
  • We’re also going to use tamarind paste in this recipe. If you don’t have it or want to swap it out, you could use vinegar, or better yet, lime juice right at the end.
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A few final tips – How to make Indian Fish Curry!

It’s very helpful to have everything ready before you begin. Above, I’ve split all the ingredients in accordance with when I’m going to use them in the cook.

The onions go in first. Followed by the whole spices. Then the dry spices. And finally the wet paste.

South Indian - Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe
South Indian – Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

Out of the main ingredients, the fish will be added last. After the coconut milk has already been added to the pan. In a meat based curry this wouldn’t be the case. But the fish cooks so quickly that adding it too soon would cause it to dry out and fall apart.

Naturally, the only thing to be added to the dish after the fish are any additional seasonings and garnishes, as seen above.

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Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe – An unexpected favourite, a childhood favourite in its grown up form. Rich, deep and incredible.

Passanda Sauce Recipe – An Authentic Leftover Chicken Curry – The sexiest, creamiest, butteriest, chickeniest curry I’ve ever made and an absolute personal favourite.

Goan Lamb Curry – Another of Goa’s beautiful curries. This time a delicious vindaloo style lamb dish!

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.


The above are affiliate links for which I earn a commission per purchase.


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South Indian - Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

South Indian Curry Recipe | Keralan / Goan Fish Curry Recipe

This South Indian style, Goan / Keralan fish curry recipe will show you exactly how to make a beatiful, coconutty, spicy fish curry, just as they would have it in the Southern Indian states like Goa and Kerala!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

Spices

  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 – 2 tsp Dry Chilli – Flakes or Powder

Paste

  • 2 inches Fresh Ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic

Other

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tsp Tamarind Paste
  • 300 – 400 g White Fish cod, for example
  • 200 g Mushrooms whatever type is convenient
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 500 ml Chicken Stock
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt
  • Lime Juice
  • Caster Sugar Optional

Garnish

  • Fresh Coriander

Instructions
 

Prep

  • If you need to, prepare a stock. If you’re using store bought stock, ignore this step.
  • Slice your fish into appropriately sized pieces. Bite sized or close to it are usually suitable. Lightly salt and keep refrigerated!

Ready your spices

  • Set aside a star anise, a cinnamon stick and half a teaspoon of mustard seeds, all separately.
  • In a hot, dry pan, toast 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 tsp coriander seeds until the smell starts to lift and they begin to brittle.
  • Grind them up in a pestle and mortar and switch to a small container, separate to the above ingredients.
  • To the powdered cumin and coriander, add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 – 2 tsp chilli flakes, to your preference.

Make your paste

  • Wipe out the pestle and mortar and add 3 cloves of peeled garlic and a couple of inches of peeled ginger, then grind them into a fine paste and set aside.

Cook

  • Peel and finely dice an onion and caramelise it in an oiled pan on low-medium heat, until the onion caramelises, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Roughly 6 – 8 minutes. At the halfway point, add star anise, mustard seeds and cinnamon.
  • Then add the powdered spices and cook for a minute or two more.
  • Finally, add the fresh paste and cook through for a final minute or two.
  • Add the tomato puree and the bay leaf and stir everything together. Cook everything together for a couple of minutes. Taste check the seasoning at this stage and add more salt if necessary, then add the coconut milk.
  • Bring everything back to a simmer if it isn’t already there.
  • If needs be, pat your fish dry and then add to the simmering liquid. Stir into the sauce and cook through for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Finish and plate

  • Stir in the tamarind paste, check the seasoning and add any additional flavours you might like. Lime juice or even vinegar will help to bring out the sourness of the tamarind and sugar will accentuate the sweetness of the coconut milk. I consider the sugar optional and dependent on the type of coconut milk.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve with rice, naan or whatever takes your fancy.
Keyword Curry, fish curry, goan curry, Goan fish curry, Keralan Curry, Keralan Fish Curry, south indian curry, south indian fish curry

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe or have any comments or queries, please do let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to like and share!

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