← Back to Search Results
sauteeing Asian, Indian
Malvani Fish Curry Recipe-21048

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
Comments: 0


A rich and spicy fish curry

Malvan is a part of the Konkan coast-and coastal food highlights seafood. What distinguishes Malvani fish curries is not just the variety of gravies but also the variety of recipes for the same kind of fish using a dazzling number of combinations of spices and ingredients, as well as dry and wet cooking styles. The most amazing and fiery fish curry I have ever eaten, like the one here, was at the table of Mrs. Samant, a family friend. Malvani food has loads of punch to it, which is just one of the reasons you will go back for a second helping. Serve with steamed rice. Surmai is a popular fish in India, but is hard to find in the United States. You can use pomfret or mackerel instead.

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 pound (500 grams) whole surmai (kingfish), pomfret, or mackerel
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 4 or 5 dried red chiles, stemmed
  • ¾ cup (90 grams) grated fresh coconut (or frozen unsweetened coconut)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 to 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 green chiles, stemmed and slit


1. Cut off the head of the fish and clean the insides. Wash thoroughly under running water. Cut the fish horizontally into 1-inch-thick (2½-cm-thick) slices and put in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of the turmeric, and the salt, and stir well. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to marinate.

2. Place a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander, and dry-roast for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool, then transfer to a food processor with the dried chiles, the remaining ½ teaspoon turmeric, the coconut, half of the onions, the peppercorns, tamarind pulp, and 1 cup (200 ml) water, and process to a smooth paste.

3. Place a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add the remaining onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the tomato and green chiles and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until the oil comes to the top. Add the coconut paste and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Add 1½ cups (300 ml) water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, add the marinated fish, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot.

© 2011 Sanjeev Kapoor

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

457kcal (23%)
686mg (29%)
36g (55%)
17g (83%)
70mg (23%)
73mcg RAE (2%)
11mg (19%)
48mg (5%)
3mg (19%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

baked-new-frontiers-in-baking Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
by Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito
the-gourmet-cookbook The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
the-splendid-tables-how-to-eat-weekends The Splendid Table's How to...
by Sally Swift, Lynne Rosetto Kasper
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
once-upon-a-tart-soups-salads-muffins-and-more-from-new-york-citys-favorite-bakeshop-and-cafe Once Upon a Tart: Soups, Sa...
by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau
american-vegan-kitchen American Vegan Kitchen
by Tamasin Noyes
in-the-kitchen-with-david In the Kitchen with David
by David Venable
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
desserts-4-today Desserts 4 Today
by Abby Dodge
daves-dinners-a-fresh-approach-to-home-cooked-meals Dave's Dinners: A Fresh App...
by Dave Lieberman
cook-with-jamie Cook with Jamie
by Jamie Oliver
the-lee-bros-southern-cookbook-stories-and-recipes-for-southerners-and-would-be-southerners The Lee Bros. Southern Cook...
by Ted Lee, Matt Lee
good-to-the-grain Good to the Grain
by Kim Boyce
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
down-home-with-the-neelys-a-southern-family-cookbook Down Home with the Neelys: ...
by Gina Neely, Pat Neely
baked-explorations Baked Explorations
by Matt Lewis
fresh-from-the-market Fresh from the Market
by Laurent Tourondel

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?