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12 - Spice Fish Curry

- submitted by Dahlia on 08-18-2008

(Sardines curry, Salmon curry, Spicy Fish Curry)

Sardines Fish Curry

Ingredients - 1

  • Fish fillets/pieces - 1 lb
  • Tamarind juice - made from 2-3 tamarind (lemon sized tamarind ball or 1 tblsp of tamarind pulp)
  • Tomato - 1 (optional)
  • Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 strand
  • Oil (preferably coconut oil/sesame oil) - 3-4 tblsp
  • Green Chillies/banana peppers - (2 for garnish)
  • Cilantro - for garnish
  • Other veggies that can be added - Brinjal pieces, drumstick, banana peppers or raw mangoes
  • Salt (preferably sea salt) - to taste

Ingredients - 2 (12 spice)

  • Dry/Fresh Coconut - 3 -4 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds - 2.5 tbsp
  • Shallot/ Pearl Onions (sambhar onions) - 5-6
  • Garlic - 5-6 cloves
  • Ginger - 1/4 " piece
  • Dry Red Chillies - 7 (or as needed)
  • Pepper - 5-7 seeds
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 2 strands
  • Carom seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 5-8 seeds


  1. Heat oil in a small pan and roast the grated coconut with the onions, garlic, ginger and dry red chillies till the coconut turns nice and brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Similarly roast the coriander seeds, black peppercorns, curry leaves, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and carom seeds too. ( Roasting each ingredient separately is better but if you do not have time, you can roast everything together.)
  3. Once everything cools grind everything together (all the spices under ingredients -2) to a fine paste and keep aside.
  4. Heat little oil in a clay pot/deep pan. If you are adding any veggies, saute the veggies and tomato pieces till it is partly mashed up.
  5. Add the ground spice masala, asafoetida and tamarind juice. Add required water and bring it to a boil.
  6. Check for salt and add the fish pieces. Cover and cook it for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Reduce the flame to the lowest and let the gravy simmer for another 15-20 minutes till the oil separates from the gravy.
  8. Heat little coconut/sesame oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add this to the gravy.
  9. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and split green chillies. The final curry should have equal amount of spiciness from the masala, tanginess from the tamarind and salt.
  10. Let the gravy rest for 2 hours before serving for the spices to enter the fish pieces nicely.  Serve with hot plain white rice.

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Comments (12)

Person anupriya   (April 17, 2015)
Best Recipe. I loved it. Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe with us.
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (April 19, 2015)
Great!!! Try out more recipes...
Person cynthia samuel   (October 29, 2014)
fish curry came out awesome:) made it after long time.....thnx:)
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (October 29, 2014)
Thats good to hear Cynthia....
Person rati   (September 22, 2014)

can i try this with tiliapia fish(white fish)
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (September 24, 2014)
Yes you can.
Person roshini   (May 28, 2014)
wow these are very delicious.......................
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (September 24, 2014)
Thank you.
Person cynthia   (April 26, 2014)
Awesome it came out:)thanks for the recipe
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (May 25, 2014)
Glad to hear that. Enjoy.
Person Azna rushdi   (February 4, 2013)
wow woooooooooooooooooooow yummyyyyyyyyyyyyy :)
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (February 12, 2013)
Thank you.

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Old Comments

Comment by Vidya J
           Hi Dahlia,
Can this dish be prepared with frozen Sardines ? What's Carom seeds ? 

Reply :-
          Yes you can. Caron seeds are also called ajwain or omam.

 Comment by  Anuradha Ganesh on 17 February 2010 00:36AM
        thank u soooo much for this wonderfull receipe ,it tasted really yummy . My husband said this was the best fishcurry that i have ever made .
Reply :-            
          Nice to hear that Anuradha...

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