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Goan Fish Curry

Introduction & method

This light and healthy curry from Goa in Southern India is a delight. Coconut gives it sweetness, while tamarind adds a contrasting sourness. It's easy to make and really tasty.

Goan Fish Curry Recipe

Toast the Spices

In a dry frying pan, toast the coriander and cumin seeds along with the chilli flakes for a minute or two, until they are lightly browned.

Make the Sauce

Peel and finely chop the onion and sauté in a little oil for about 5 minutes. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Pop them in a spice mill or mortar and pestle with the toasted spices, and crush/whizz/bash until you have a smooth-ish paste. Add the paste to the onions and cook for a few minutes.

Add the coconut milk, mix well, then add the tomato. If you are using whole tomatoes, you'll need to chop them finely first.

Cook for 5 minutes, then add the tamarind paste, sugar and chopped chillies. Let the flavours blend for a few minutes, then taste it and adjust the seasoning - you want a balance of sweet, sour and salty, so add more sugar , tamarind or salt if it is lacking.

Finish the Curry

When you have a nice thick sauce, chop the fish into big chunks - remove the skin if you wish, but I leave it on. Add the fish and the prawns to the sauce and cook another 5-10 minutes until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily. Stir in some chopped coriander.


If you want to be authentic, you serve this on a banana leaf. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with rice and pickles.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Goan Fish Curry on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 450 grams white fish &/or prawns
 1 medium onion
 400 ml coconut milk
 200 grams tomato, chopped
 3 cms fresh ginger
 4 cloves garlic
 2 tsp coriander seeds
 1 tsp cumin seeds
 half a tsp red chilli flakes
 2 green chillis
 4 tsp tamarind paste
 1 tbsp palm sugar


Oil for sautéeing. If you can't get palm sugar, light brown will do. If you can't get tamarind, substitute white vinegar.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Total time: 40 minutes.