A Delicious Fish Curry from Kerala, South India
I first learnt to cook this Kerala fish curry from Chef Nitin at the gorgeous Brunton’s Boatyard in Fort Kochi.
It’s a spicy yellow gravy traditional to Kerala in Southern India and uses turmeric, tomato, coconut, spices and curries leaves.
Ingredients (serves 8)
1&1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds still keeping a low heat.
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 green chilli sliced lengthways (optional)
Fresh curry leaves from one stem (available from Asian Grocers)
1 medium red onion sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons tumeric powder
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 kg white fish fillets cut into bite-sized pieces (a seafood mix works really well too, or use seasonal vegetables and cooked/canned legumes for a vegetarian version)
1x400g tin diced or crushed tomatoes (or use 2 fresh diced Roma tomatoes and ½ cup water)
1x400g tin coconut milk
- Start by heating 2 Tbsp coconut oil.
- Add 1/2 tsp fenugreek and brown slowly to light golden before popping 1 tsp mustard seeds.
- Then add ginger, green chilli and curry leaves cooking for about 10 sec between each.
- Next add the sliced onions and use a spoon to stir fry and sweat the onion but don’t caramelise it.
- Next add 1 1/2 tsp turmeric and stirfry for a few seconds.
- Add the 1/2 tsp salt and chunks of firm white fish or seafood. (If only adding vegetables for a vegetarian dish, don’t use fenugreek spice).
- Add tomatoes and simmer until the fish is cooked through. Adjust the salt.
- Take off the heat to add the coconut milk. (It will separate if gets too hot). Garnish with extra curry leaves.
- Serve with cooked Basmati rice, yogurt raita (or a plain low fat yogurt), a simple tomato, cucumber and red onion salad and pappadoms cooked in the microwave for 60 sec.
Kerala Fish Curry Notes
This curry is also excellent as a vegetarian curry using 1 tin of drained chickpeas and about 600g of diced peeled sweet potato. Cook the sweet potato first until tender before adding the chickpeas and then the coconut milk.
Niulife Coconut Oil is well worth considering if you’d like to support a very socially motivated business that gives 100% of the profits back to the villagers that make their oil.
For a version of this Kerala fish curry that is adapted to fit with a weight loss meal plan do check out my post on FoodLoversDietitian.com