Indian in 7 Indian in 7 by Monisha Bharadwaj

This light fish curry is almost a stew, but unlike many southern dishes that are fiery hot, it’s quite mild. Traditionally eaten with “appams” or fermented rice pancakes,
I love it best with plain boiled rice with a dash of lemon juice squeezed on top.
I use full-fat canned coconut milk as the reduced-fat one does not give this curry the creaminess it needs.

Serves 4

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons Ginger-Garlic Paste

  • 2 fresh green chilies, finely chopped (seeds and all)

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped (seeds and all)

  • 4 firm skinless fish fillets, such as salmon, halibut, or cod loin 

  • 14-ounce can coconut milk

  • 10 fresh or 15 dried curry leaves, chopped or crumbled

Heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a saucepan. Stir in the onions and cook for 4–5 minutes on high heat, until they start to brown, then reduce the heat and cook for a further 3–4 minutes, until they are soft.

Add 2 teaspoons of Ginger-Garlic Paste and the chilies and cook for 30 seconds, until the raw garlic smell disappears, then add the turmeric and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook on high heat for 4–5 minutes, or until they soften and can be easily mashed with the back of a spoon.

Move the mixture to the sides of the pan and place the fish fillets in the center of the pan, adding a few extra drops of sunflower oil if the pan is too dry. Fry on both sides until well sealed and half cooked, about 2–3 minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk, add the curry leaves, and season with salt. Cook on low heat, covered, until the fish is tender, about 8 minutes.

Serve hot with plain boiled rice.