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A Gingery Fish Curry

The red colour of this curry is indicative not of heat but of presence of tomato puree.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • 500 g firm white fish such as basa defrosted if frozen
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ + ⅛ tsp turmeric powder, divided
  • 30 g coconut oil (measured solid) or any other oil about 2 tbsp
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 12 fenugreek seeds
  • 15 curry leaves, sliced
  • 100 g onions (peeled weight), sliced about 1/2 a cup
  • 6 - 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 mild green chillies, chopped more for flavour rather than heat
  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder this, like paprika, lends colour more than heat
  • ½-1 tsp extra hot chilli powder (optional)
  • squeeze of lime or lemon


  • Cut the fish into chunks about 1½ - 2 inches square. Sprinkle with the salt and the ¼ tsp turmeric. Mix gently and set aside while you make the curry. Keep all the curry ingredients ready near the hob before you proceed.
  • In a medium frying pan set over medium heat, add the oil then add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the fenugreek seeds, stir and fry for a few seconds until they go a shade darker, then add the curry leaves and stir.
  • Add the onions, garlic, ginger & green chillies and fry on gentle heat for about 5 - 10 minutes until the onion looks golden.
  • Now add the tomato puree, salt to taste, the remaining ⅛ tsp turmeric powder, the two chilli powders and fry for another 5 -10 minutes until oil oozes from the periphery and the mixture looks fried.
  • Add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer, then gently add the fish pieces. Simmer uncovered, until the fish pieces are done. Add lemon or lime juice to taste and serve with fresh steamed rice.
Keyword basa, curry, fish, ginger, indian