How to Make Fish Curry: A Flavorful and Easy Recipe

Fish curry is a delightful dish that combines tender fish pieces with aromatic spices and a rich, creamy sauce. This dish is popular in many coastal regions around the world and can be made with a variety of fish and spices, making it highly customizable. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this step-by-step guide will help you create a delicious fish curry that will impress your family and friends.


For the Curry:

  • 500 grams of fish fillets (such as cod, tilapia, or salmon)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable, coconut, or mustard oil)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 cup coconut milk or water
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

For Marination:

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Mixing bowl
  • Large frying pan or skillet
  • Spatula
  • Knife and chopping board
  • Blender or food processor (optional)


1. Marinate the Fish

Start by cutting the fish fillets into bite-sized pieces. In a mixing bowl, combine the turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, and lemon juice. Add the fish pieces to the bowl and mix well, ensuring each piece is coated with the marinade. Set aside for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors penetrate the fish.

2. Prepare the Ingredients

While the fish is marinating, finely chop the onion and tomatoes. Prepare the ginger-garlic paste by blending equal parts of ginger and garlic in a food processor or using a ready-made paste. Slit the green chilies lengthwise and set them aside.

3. Cook the Onions

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown. This step is crucial as it forms the base of the curry and adds depth to the flavor.

4. Add the Aromatics

Add the ginger-garlic paste and slit green chilies to the pan. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell of the ginger and garlic disappears. Be careful not to burn the mixture.

5. Cook the Tomatoes

Add the finely chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until they become soft and mushy. This should take about 5-7 minutes. If needed, you can add a splash of water to help the tomatoes break down.

6. Add the Spices

Once the tomatoes are well-cooked, add the turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder to the pan. Mix well and cook the spices for 2-3 minutes to enhance their flavors.

7. Add the Liquid

Pour in the coconut milk or water and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. If you prefer a thicker curry, use coconut milk. For a lighter curry, use water. Stir well to combine the ingredients and let the sauce simmer for 5-7 minutes.

8. Add the Fish

Gently add the marinated fish pieces to the pan, ensuring they are submerged in the curry sauce. Cook the fish for 7-10 minutes, or until it is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become tough.

9. Finish with Garam Masala

Sprinkle the garam masala over the curry and mix gently. This final addition of garam masala adds a wonderful aroma and depth to the dish.

Serving Suggestions

Fish curry is best enjoyed hot, served with steamed rice, naan, or roti. Garnish the curry with fresh coriander leaves for a burst of freshness. You can also serve it with a side of salad or vegetable stir-fry for a complete meal.

Tips and Variations

  • Fish Choice: Use firm fish that hold their shape well when cooked, such as cod, tilapia, or salmon. Avoid delicate fish that might fall apart in the curry.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the number of green chilies and the amount of red chili powder to suit your taste preference.
  • Coconut Milk: For a richer curry, use full-fat coconut milk. If you prefer a lighter version, use low-fat coconut milk or even regular milk.
  • Vegetables: You can add vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, or okra to the curry for added nutrition and flavor.


Making fish curry at home is a straightforward process that yields delicious results. With a blend of fresh ingredients and aromatic spices, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether served as a main course for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner, fish curry is a versatile and satisfying meal. Enjoy the rich flavors and warmth of this homemade fish curry, and happy cooking!

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