Finger Licking Delicious Fish Curry | South Indian Style Fish Curry

Delicious Fish Curry made with a lovely blend of spices, ground fresh coconut & when you taste it will leave you licking your fingers.

This recipe is a traditional recipe in many parts of South India. All the ingredients that are added here enhance the flavour of the curry while complimenting the fish too. The ingredients added in the curry are not just for flavour but has medicinal properties too like helps digestion etc.

Please do try this recipe, they go great with Hot Rice, Idli, Dosa, Roti, Phulka etc. They make amazing leftovers. The speciality of this dish is that it is made hours ahead as the flavours blend in along with the fish & make it more tasty as it sits.

Please do give it a try.

You can also watch my video on YouTube


To Grind into Masala Paste:

  • 5-6 – Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Tsp – Oil (I used Sesame/Gingerly Oil they give good flavour to fish curry)
  • 1 – Large Onion (roughly diced)
  • 3 – Medium Tomatoes (roughly diced)
  • 1 Tsp – Pepper Corns
  • ½ Tsp – Cumin Seeds/Jeera
  • ½ Tsp – Fennel Seeds/Saunf
  • 8-9 – Byadagi Dry Red Chillies (These chillies do not have much heat, they give a nice earlthy flavour & red colour to the curry).
  • 3 – Dry Red Chillies/Guntur Chillies (These chillies are hot, this quantity gives moderate heat add 2 more if you wish to have more heat).
  • 1 Heap Tbsp – Coriander seeds/Dhania
  • ¼ Tsp – Turmeric Powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • ¾ Cup – Freshly Grated Coconut (you can use 1 cup thick coconut milk instead).

For the Fish Curry:

  • 800Gms to 1Kg – Fish (You can use any fish you usually cook with. You can also add cleaned fish head too they make the curry Very Tasty. I have used Indian Salmon).
  • 10-12 – Garlic Cloves (slightly crushed)
  • ¼ Tsp – Fenugreek Seeds/Menthya Kalu/Methi Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp – Curry Leaves
  • 4 Tsp – Oil (I used Sesame/Gingerly oil, they are great for fish curry).
  • 3 Cups – Water (you can add or reduce water to get the consistency you like).
  • ½ Lime size – Tamarind (Soaked in ½ cup water)
  • 1 Tsp – Homemade Sambhar/Curry Powder (optional you can skip it if you wish).
  • Salt as per taste


  • Heat a heavy bottom pan & add oil (please keep heat on low).
  • Add pepper corns, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, garlic cloves, byadagi dry red chillies, Guntur dry red chillies & sauté.
  • Add Coriander seeds/Dhania & sauté.
  • Add onion, salt & sauté well (please turn heat to medium).
  • We cover with lid & let it cook.
  • After a few minutes open lid & stir.
  • Once the onions are soft, translucent & starting to turn light brown add tomatoes.
  • Sauté & then cover with lid & let it cook.
  • After a few minutes open the lid, stir & add turmeric powder.
  • Once the tomatoes are soft, turn off heat.
  • Transfer all ingredients into a blender/mixy jar.
  • Add coconut, let it cool then grind it to a fine paste & set aside.
  • Heat the same pan & add oil (Please keep heat on low).
  • Add garlic cloves, fenugreek/methi seeds & sauté.
  • Then add curry leaves & sauté (until the garlic start to brown slightly).
  • Now add the ground masala, to remove the remaining paste from the blender/mixy jar add a cup of water, mix & pour into the pan.
  • Mix well (turn heat to medium).
  • Add salt as per your taste & stir.
  • Add one more cup of water & mix well.
  • Now you can add the homemade sambhar/curry powder, mix well (this is optional, you can skip if you wish).
  • Add the tamarind juice, mix & we let it come to boil.
  • Then we add one more cup of water to make the curry more liquid (as we need to cook the fish & we cannot add water after we cook the fish).
  • We check the consistency of the curry.
  • We cover the pan with a lid & let it come to a full boil.
  • After a few minutes once the curry is bubbling we gently one by one add the fish pieces (please add the fish around the pan so the pieces are placed evenly).
  • Now lift the pan & shake it gently once & place it on the stove. We shake the pan so all the fish pieces settle & cook evenly.
  • If you are adding coconut milk you can add it now.
  • We cover with lid & let it cook.
  • After 5-6 minutes we open the lid & stir gently (now we should be able to see the fish have turned white & are firm so it is cooked just right).
  • We check by taking one piece of fish, gently cut it with a butter knife, the fish piece comes off easily & it is cooked (it is important we cook the fish just right, as even after we turn off heat the fish will continue to cook due to the heat from the curry).
  • Turn off heat.
  • Ready to serve.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks great ! Can I make it with any carp.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aarna says:

      Hi Gaurav… Thank You… Yes You can make it with carp too they taste great as well… ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Willy Leong says:

    With thanks! Valuable information!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aarna says:

      Hi… Thank You so much… 🙂 🙂


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