Simple Fish Curry with Coconut Gravy

This simple fish curry is prepared with ingredients that are almost always found in Indian and Sri Lankan kitchens and is excellent served with steamed rice. Fish curries in Sri Lanka usually feature coconut or coconut milk.  I have used tomato and tamarind as souring agents. I added the tomato to give this fish curry a little bit of sweetness to take the edge off the sourness. In Sri Lanka, most of the fish curries used to be cooked in an earthenware pot (Clay pot).

Mackerel Fish Curry



Mackerels /Any firm white fish (scaled and cleaned) 500g
Tomatoes (medium) 2 (chopped)
Onion 1 Large (Sliced)
Curry Leaves 1 Sprig
Garlic 5 cloves (sliced)
Green chili 2
Coriander leaves 1 small bunch (chopped)
Chili Powder 2 TSP or adjust according to taste
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder

Coriander Powder

1 Tsp


Coconut cream/Coconut Milk 2TBS/ 100ml
Salt 1 TSP or to taste
Tamarind pulp 1 TBS
Water 3 Cups
Gingelly Oil 3 TBS


To Temper:-

Cinnamon Stick 1 Inch
Mustard Seeds 1 TSP
Fenugreek Seeds 2 TSP
Fennel seeds 1 TSP
Peppercorns 2


How I made it:-

  • Wash the fish well under the running water and drain them well in a colander.
  • Put in a bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon of the turmeric. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Place a medium size sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil.
  • Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek, fennel, pepper corns, curry leaves and cinnamon stick. Sauté for 30 seconds.


  • Add the garlic, green chili and onion and sauté for 4 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the sliced tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • And the chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt, stir well.
  • Add 3 cups of water and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the tamarind pulp and stir well.


  • When it comes to a boil cook, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes.
  • Gently slide the fish slices into the pan.
  • Lower the heat to low. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  • Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with steamed white rice.

Fish Curry


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11 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Super meen kuzhambu, I just love it…
    lovely clicks…

    1. Thanks for stopping by priya

  2. Fish curry looks yummy.. mouth-watering and perfectly made Dhanish.. Get well soon dear.. Lotts of love to your daughter.. Hugsxx

    1. Thank you soo much dear. Hugs!!!

  3. Hi.. in the ingredient it is stated as 1tsp turmeric powder but when cooking instead of turmeric powder, cumin powder was added in… i am a bit confused here cause cumin powder was not stated in ingredient list.. pls clarify. Thx..

    1. Hi May,
      Thanks for notifying me. Yes I have missed in the ingredients list. Will update now. You can add 1 Tsp Cumin powder. And 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Thanks. Happy cooking

      1. Thx for clarifying.. merry xmas..

        1. You are most welcome ?. Thanks May. Merry X’mas and Happy new year.

  4. Tried it today and it’s really delicious. I made double quantity and put 2 TBS tamarind pulp but I should have put just one as it was dominating. Thank you!

    1. Hi Dhammika, Adding tamarind will definitely dominate the flavour, it depends on the how concentrate the tamarind. So next time you can adjust accordingly. Thanks for your feedback. Happy cooking! 🙂


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