Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

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   ()
Best Recipe. I loved it. Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe with us.
Person   ()
Great!!! Try out more recipes...
Person   ()
fish curry came out awesome:) made it after long time.....thnx:)
Person   ()
Thats good to hear Cynthia....
Person   ()

can i try this with tiliapia fish(white fish)
Person   ()
Yes you can.
Person   ()
wow these are very delicious.......................
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
Awesome it came out:)thanks for the recipe
Person   ()
Glad to hear that. Enjoy.
Person   ()
wow woooooooooooooooooooow yummyyyyyyyyyyyyy :)
Person   ()
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...

 Published by on and last updated on 2015-12-29.