Coconut fish curry (macher malaikari) recipe

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A creamy, coconut-based curry great with meaty white fish. It’s everything you want from a simple, nourishing midweek supper: quick to make, a short ingredients list and, most importantly, flavoursome and comforting. The dish serves two as a main course or four as part of a multi-course meal.

Ingredients

  Metric  Cups  Imperial 

  • 4 halibut, plaice or tilapia fillets (approximately 750g/1lb 10 oz)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 0.2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 400ml/14fl oz tin full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 4 halibut, plaice or tilapia fillets (approximately 750g/1lb 10 oz)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 0.2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 400ml/14fl oz tin full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 4 halibut, plaice or tilapia fillets (approximately 750g/1lb 10 oz)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 0.2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 400ml/14fl oz tin full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 pinch sugar

To garnish

  • 2 green chillis, finely sliced
  • 1 handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
  • 2 green chillis, finely sliced
  • 1 handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
  • 2 green chillis, finely sliced
  • 1 handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped

Details

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Recipe Type: Curry
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 25 mins
  • Serves: 2

Step-by-step

  1. Place the fish fillets on a plate, sprinkle over half the ground turmeric and half the salt and rub into the fillets. Leave for a minimum of 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.
  2. In a heavy-based frying pan (skillet), heat the oil over a medium-high heat.
  3. Add the sliced onions to the pan and fry gently, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelised.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the pan, leaving as much of the oil in the pan as possible to cook the other ingredients, and place on a plate to drain. Spread the onions across the plate so they crisp as they cool.
  5. You should have enough oil left in the pan to fry the fish; if not, add another 1 tbsp vegetable oil. In the same pan, flash-fry the fish fillets for 20–30 seconds on both sides to seal. Do not allow the fish to cook.
  6. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside on a plate.
  7. Keeping the heat at medium-high, add the garlic and ginger pastes to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the remaining ground turmeric and the chilli powder. If the pastes stick to the base of the pan, sprinkle over some water.
  8. Add the tomato purée, 4 tbsp warm water, the remaining salt and the fried onions, then cook for few minutes until the oil has seeped to the edges of the pan.
  9. Return the fish fillets to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  10. Add the coconut milk, then immediately remove the pan from the heat and carefully turn each fillet over.
  11. Taste the coconut milk and adjust the seasoning with sugar or salt as necessary.
  12. Before serving, garnish with sliced green chillis and chopped coriander.
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