This easy and flavoursome Indian curry recipe is quick to prepare. The coconut oil adds a wonderful flavour and is widely available from heath food stores. If jewfish is unavailable choose another firm white fleshed fish that will hold together well as the curry simmers. Serve as part of a shared meal. 






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (27 votes)


  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 200 g red Asian shallots, sliced
  • 50 g fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp medium chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground fenugreek
  • 50 ml coconut oil
  • 20 g kokum (see Note) or tamarind
  • 1 small banana leaf
  • 5 sprigs fresh curry leaves
  • 500 g jewfish fillet, sliced into five pieces
  • water, to cover
  • salt to taste


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: 5 minutes

Sauté together garlic, sliced shallots, ginger, chilli, turmeric and fenugreek in a frying pan in half of the coconut oil over medium heat. Keep this mixture separate.

Soak the kokum or tamarind in water for five minutes.

To cook the curry in a clay pot, place the banana leaves, curry leaves and half the tamarind at the bottom. Arrange the fish on top, adding the sautéed spices.

Add enough water to just cover the fish and add the remaining kokum with salt to taste.

Bring to the boil on a high heat and simmer until the fish is tender.

Pour over the remaining coconut oil and remove the pot from the heat.

Serve hot or cold with rice.


A souring agent, like tamarind, kokum is the dried fruit of an evergreen tree found in southern India. It can be purchased at some Indian grocery stores.