Kerala Fish Curry

Justin Bonello

A taste of India.

I recently got back from an incredible trip in India thanks to Robertson’s Herbs and Spices. It’s hard to not be inspired by all the beauty, the people and of course the incredible bounty of spices available in India. Naturally I came back with a few spices in hand, and a couple of recipes that I picked up along the way from the locals.  The Kerala Fish Curry had me hooked and I couldn’t wait to get home and have a go myself. It must be said, this recipe is a bit precise for me – but it works like a bomb. I don’t have the best pictures available for you to see how the end product looks – so you will just have to trust me on this one! The combination of flavor and spices is absolutely delicious…and the best part? It only takes 30 minutes from start to finish.

You will need:

250 g Fish Cubes (I used yellowtail)

30 ml Coconut Oil

2 g Fenugreek Seeds

100 g Onion, sliced

5 g Ginger, julliened

5 g Garlic, chopped

5 g Green Chilli, chopped

1 Curry Leaf

10 g Chilli Powder

5 g Coriander Powder

3 g Turmeric Powder

100 ml Water

3 Tamarind Pods (peeled and soaked in water) / 3 teaspoons of Tamarind Pulp ( I used the smoked kind – but it’s up to you!)

50 ml Coconut Milk

Salt to taste

For Tempering:

15 ml Coconut Oil

2 g Mustard Seeds

10 g Sliced Shallots

5 g Dry Red Chilli

1 Curry Leaf


First up place the tamarind pods or pulp into about half a cup of lukewarm and leave to soak. After about 20 minutes, then pour the water through a sieve into a bowl, and press the pulp through as well. Stir to combine and it’s ready to use. If you’re using Tamarind pulp, simply combine with half a cup of lukewarm water.

Heat the oil in a large pan, and then add the fenugreek seeds. Next add the onions, ginger, garlic, green chilli and curry leaf and sauté until golden. Stir through the chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric and keeping frying – stirring often to prevent the masala mixture from burning. Next add the tamarind and water and add the cubed yellowtail. Season to taste and simmer gently for 10 minutes then add the coconut milk and simmer for a while longer.


Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and toast until they start popping. Add the shallots, chilli and curry leaf. Saute until golden brown, then mix it into the curry.

Serve the curry with rice and an ice cold beer! I warned you my picture was nothing to be excited about – but here’s my attempt at home (as a point of reference):

Justin Bonello Recipe



Tamarind is said to be native to India. It’s a much valued food ingredient in many Asian and Latin American recipes. The sour and fruity taste off Tamarind merges well with the heat of chillies and gives South Indian dishes their hot and sour characteristic and their dark colour.



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