An Easy Coconut Fish Curry

This yummy coconut fish curry came from an online webinar. One plus to the pandemic–cooking classes online or on Zoom or whatever. You can cook along while in a familiar kitchen with sharp knives. This serves 4:

An Easy Coconut Fish Curry

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 firm white fish filets, about 4-6 ounces (sea bass, cod, halibut)
  • 3 tablespoons oil (coconut if you have it)
  • 10 fresh curry leaves (see below for substitutes)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1” piece of ginger cut into thin strips
  • 2 jalapenos slit open lengthwise (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a small frying pan, or a plate in the microwave, toast the coriander and cumin seeds for about 1 minute until fragrant. Coarsely grind them and mix with the red pepper flakes. Rub the mixture on the flesh side of your fish and let sit while you make the sauce.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the curry leaves, onion, ginger, and jalapenos, cooking until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, coconut milk and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Cook 3-5 minutes until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat and sear the fish spice side down for about 2 minutes. Carefully place the filets spice side up in the pan with the sauce and cook for about 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve with basmati rice and enjoy!

My verdict:

I’ve done this twice with cod filets and it’s been really good. The last time we made it, the jalapenos must have been mild because there was almost no heat, so next time I might toss in another one. If you have coconut oil, it gives the curry more of a coconut taste than regular oil.

Don’t worry if you don’t have fresh curry leaves, you can substitute basil, a couple of bay leaves, or even some lime zest. Curry leaves freeze well, so if you can find some at an Indian/Asian grocery just pop the rest in the freezer. And they’re edible, so you don’t have to worry about fishing them out.


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