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Indian Fish Curry

  • All White Fish
  • Soup / Stew
  • Braise / Simmer
  • Grace Parisi
  • Indian / South Asian
  • Active Time:25 min
  • Total Time:35 min
  • Servings:4
  • Difficulty:Easy
Photo by Grace Parisi

Goa, a state in India, is situated on the west coast along the Arabian Sea. Coconut, fresh seafood, and fragrant spices are staples in Goan cuisine and fish curry is one of the state’s most notable dishes. The addition of a sour element such as tamarind concentrate or dried amchur (sour mango powder) is one of the defining features of Goan cuisine and worth seeking out. However, apple cider vinegar is a good alternative. While this recipe calls for meaty monkfish medallions, any white fish would do nicely.


  • 12 ounces monkfish medallions, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil such as avocado, canola, or grapeseed

  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced

  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and minced

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri chili powder or cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup bottled clam juice, or seafood or chicken stock

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • Cooked basmati rice for serving

  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish

  • Mango chutney for serving (optional)


Prep the Fish

Season the monkfish generously with salt and set aside at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.

Prepare the Sauce

In a medium enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, ginger, jalapeño, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, mustard seeds (if using), turmeric, and chili powder, and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly broken down, about 1 minute. Stir in the clam juice and coconut milk, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the tamarind concentrate and season with salt and pepper..

Cook the Fish and Serve

Rinse the monkfish and pat dry with paper towels. Add the fish to the sauce and simmer over medium heat until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve over the rice, garnished with cilantro. Serve with mango chutney if desired.

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Grab a dry Austrian Riesling to match the flavors in the curry with citrus notes in the wine.

Change It Up

Like most soups and stews, this curry is even better the next day. Rewarm it gently to avoid overcooking the fish.


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