Hot and Sweet Goan Fish Curry

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Hot and Sweet Goan Fish Curry
An aromatic Fish curry with Hot, sweet and sour flavours of red chillies, Coconut milk and tamarind

I was not particularly keen on fish curries until I tried this version. I have tried various kinds of fish in this recipe but have found white fish to be the best suited for this combination of spices. I have used Cod, Haddock and Plaice and can assure you that all have their own distinct flavours making it a very versatile recipe.


Plaice – 3 boneless fillets (cod or Haddock – 2 fillets as they are chunky compared to plaice)
Red Kashmiri Chilies – 6
Fresh or Desiccated Coconut – 50 gm
Onion – 1 large
Tinned Tomatoes – 200 gm
Coconut Milk – 400 ml
Cumin Seeds – 1tsp
Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 8-10 (Optional)
Tamarind Pate – 1tsp or lemon juice – 2 tsps
Salt – 4 tsp or to taste
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Vegetable oil – 1tbsp


  • Wash, dry and cut each fish fillets in 3-4 pieces.
  • Removing the skin is optional if you are not keen on the texture of skin. However the fishmongers in supermarkets may refuse to remove the skin due to the delicacy of the fish meat.
  • Grind together the coconut, red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, tamarind paste and tomatoes to a fine thick paste.
  • Adding tomatoes to this mix makes it easy to grind the mix to a smooth paste avoiding the use of water.
  • Chop onions as fine as possible
  • Use of curry leaves is optional. You may not find it in supermarkets. But it is easily available in Asian supermarkets. I often buy couple of bunches and freeze the clean leaves in a freezer bag. The frozen leaves can be kept up to one month.
  • Use of tamarind sauce is preferable as it has its own unique flavour. Alternatively lemon juice can be used too.


  • Heat oil in a shallow saucepan.
  • I use shallow saucepan so that the fillets pieces can be cooked in a single layer avoiding the need to stir.
  • Add onions and curry leaves and cook until light golden brown.
  • At this stage reduce heat a little and add coconut and spice paste.
  • Stir-fry until the mix looks glossy and starts to leave oil on the sides.
  • Add salt and turmeric and stir-fry for another couple of minutes.
  • Add coconut milk, stir well and allow it to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add fish in a single layer to avoid need for stirring.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Let it rest for couple of hours before serving.
  • Ideally you would want to serve it the next day as fish marinates and adapts the flavours well when rested overnight.
  • Serve with boiled rice.

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