Delicious South Indian Fish Curry

This delicious South Indian fish curry is delicate in flavour with a rich coconut sauce and a mild spice hit. With a wonderful aroma of spices, you will be left wanting more. This curry is super quick to cook and will be on the table in less than 40 minutes, so it is a great family friendly dish that will transport you to the wonderful Indian continent. You will be wanting to skip your local Friday takeaway in exchange for this delicious fakeaway. Perfect served with our roti.

Fish curry in pan.

The gravy sauce base has a really nice mix of spices, tomato and coconut cream. The addition of tamarind gives a sour taste to the sauce giving it a real southern Indian feel to the finished dish.

Indian curries differ from region to region. Curries from the southern region generally use coconut and have a sour note, from tamarind or sour kokum fruit. South India is closer to the sea so seafood is readily available and features a lot in the cooking.

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What fish works best for curry?

Being in New Zealand we have a great variety of fresh fish available to us, you want to use flakey white fish like gurnard, blue cod, hoki, snapper, all these species work well. Get to know your local supplier or fish monger to find out what’s sustainable in your region.

If you don’t have fresh fish available you can use frozen fish as well. If using frozen fish just thaw and drain off any water that comes from the fish.


The importance of a good gravy (curry sauce).

Making a good gravy for your curries is key, this is where all your flavour lies. Always start with toasting your mustard seeds and curry leaves in a little oil or ghee then add the classic base ingredients onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Then add in your spices, toasting them will release the flavour. Once this base is toasted you can add your wet ingredients followed by your protein.

If you follow these basic rules you will never have a bad curry, you can also adjust the spices to suit your taste, add more chilli if you want more heat.

So its time to take a trip to your local supermarket or Indian store, gather those wonderful spices and give this curry a go.

The flavours of this delicious South Indian fish curry won’t disappoint!

Fish curry served with roti.

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Our goal is to share simple, tasty dishes created by Chef Shane and partner, Sara. Using Shane’s understanding of flavours and knowledge of food, to teach and inspire you to create delicious food everyday and gain a new level of confidence in the kitchen. Sara understands what it’s like preparing weekly dinners for a busy family of five and likes to create dishes that are easy, full of flavour and that the whole family will enjoy.

Happy cooking!

Southern Indian Fish Curry

This delicious South Indian fish curry is delicate in flavour with a rich coconut sauce and a mild spice hit. With a wonderful aroma of spices, you will be left wanting more.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Coconut cream, Curry, dinner, Fake away dinner, fish, Fish curry, South Indian, Spices, Turmeric
Servings: 4 People


  • 700 g Gurnard fillets
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 4 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1/2 Onion Peeled, Sliced
  • 3 Green chillies Cut lengthways
  • 30 g Fresh ginger Peeled, finely grated
  • 12 ea Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 20 Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tin Coconut cream 400ml
  • 1 tsp Tamarind paste
  • Salt to taste


  • Sprinkle the gurnard fillets with the turmeric and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a fry pan to a medium hot heat, add the canola oil and seal the gurnard fillets on each side, once sealed, remove from the pan. Dont cook through.
  • Using the same pan, turn to a low heat and add the black mustard seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves, fry until the mustard seeds start to pop.
  • Add the sliced onion, chillies and ginger and fry until soft then add the coriander powder, fennel powder, cinnamon stick and kashmiri chilli powder and toast the spices for 2 minutes.
  • Add the coconut cream and cherry tomatoes and tamarind, stir until combined, bring to a simmer.
  • Season with a pinch of salt and add your seared fish fillets, simmer the fish in the sauce until the fish is just cooked. About four minutes.
  • Serve with steamed basmati rice and roti or naan bread

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