Goan Fish Curry (Indian)

This fish curry comes to you from Goa, a little pocket of Indian paradise that’s all about the sun, surf, sand and excellent seafood! With a deeply aromatic tomato and coconut based sauce, Goan Fish Curry calls for good handful of spices but once you start cooking, it’s done in 20 minutes. Goan Fish Curry The... Get the Recipe The post Goan Fish Curry (Indian) appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Goan Fish Curry (Indian)

This fish curry comes to you from Goa, a little pocket of Indian paradise that’s all about the sun, surf, sand and excellent seafood! With a deeply aromatic tomato and coconut based sauce, Goan Fish Curry calls for good handful of spices but once you start cooking, it’s done in 20 minutes.

Goan Fish Curry

The tropical climate and beaches of Goa have long since been a magnet for travellers from all over the world, with a reputation in particular for attracting the hippy crowd and British backpackers… and Aussies!

Of all the local dishes, the most well known is Goan Fish Curry. Pronounced go-an (as opposed to “groan” without the “r”!), it’s an aromatic curry with a blend of spices, garlic, ginger and onion along with fresh tomato and coconut. And unlike other popular Indian curries, such as everybody’s favourite Butter Chicken and Tikka Masala, Goan Fish Curry has a touch of tang to it which cuts through the richness of the sauce.

Here’s a little preview of what’s coming your way….

About this particular Goan Fish Curry recipe

This Goan Fish Curry recipe is marginally more involved than most of the basic homestyle and online recipes you’ll see which typically have thin sauces and lack real depth of flavour in the sauce. This version specifically aims to achieve the same character and layers of flavour like you get a good Indian restaurants.

Specifically, this is a copycat of Malabar South Indian Restaurant in Crows Nest, Sydney, a long standing institution known for its excellent authentic Indian food!

Goan Fish Curry in a pot, ready to be served

Showing juicy inside of fish for Goan Fish Curry

Goan Fish Curry Paste

The foundation of Goan Fish Curry is a curry paste which, once you gather the necessary spices, is a breeze to make. Here’s what you need – but don’t fret if you see spices you don’t recognise, I have substitutions!

Goan Fish Curry curry paste ingredients

  • Kashmiri chilli – this is an Indian chilli that is smokey and spicy, and at the time of writing I believe it’s only found in Indian and some Asian grocery stores (some have Indian sections). The Kashmiri Chilli gives the curry sauce a bright red colour. If you can’t find it, sub with smoked paprika + chilli powder (pure chilli powder, not US Chili Powder which is a blend) or cayenne pepper). Flavour wise this is actually pretty close, you just won’t get quite the same red colour;
  • Fenugreek – another Indian specific cooking spice that calls for a trip to the Indian store. It actually kind of smells like maple syrup, though doesn’t taste like it when raw. It’s not a key ingredient so if you can’t find it, just leave it out;
  • Tumeric – this warm earthy spice with an intense yellow colour gives the curry a warm yellow glow. Widely available at ordinary grocery stores nowadays;
  • Coriander, cumin and ground cloves – 3 common spices in both Indian and Western cooking;
  • Fresh garlic and ginger – staples in Indian cooking. Finely grate it to get all the juicy flavour;
  • Tamarind – this sour paste is the sour element in Goan Fish Curry. It’s not overly sour, it’s just a background flavour but noticeable – and it’s one of the things that sets it apart from other Indian curries.

Tamarind paste is also used in South East Asian cooking – such as everybody’s favourite Pad Thai, Massaman Curry and Beef Rendang. Best sub: Ketchup plus white vinegar. I know, it sounds weird, but this combo replicates the thickness and sourness of tamarind. It’s the sub I use for Pad Thai and the results are phenomenal – and if you browse reader feedback, there’s plenty of positive comments around this sub.

Here’s how I make the curry paste – with a blender stick in a tall mason jar (I’m sure it came with a milkshake container, but I can’t locate it!).

Goan Fish Curry curry paste in a jar

This is a handy way to make small-batch curry pastes that is easy to scrape out. It’s a nightmare trying to scrape the paste out of a blender jug! If you use a food processor, use a small one – it doesn’t need to be super powerful because there’s nothing hard in the curry paste.

If you don’t have any of these, you can use a mortar and pestle or, as a last resort, finely grate the onion into a wet paste then just mix it up with the other ingredients.

Goan Fish Curry Sauce

And here’s what you need for the curry sauce in addition to the curry paste:

Ingredients in Goan Fish Curry

  • Black mustard seeds – they look like poppyseeds but have a slight wasabi-like bite to them. Not spicy, more a fresh zing. It’s about $1.50 in small packs at Indian grocery stores – I go to Indian Emporium in Dee Why on the Northern Beaches, Sydney. Also sold in the Indian food section at some Woolworths (Australia) $1.70, and online!

Not a key ingredient in this recipe so don’t stress if you can’t find it. Sub (starting with best): brown mustard seeds, yellow mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp mustard powder, 1/2 tsp Garam Masala (different flavour, but is intended to make up for absence).

Also used in: South Indian Eggplant Curry, Dal, Samosa Pie;

  • Chilli powder – this is pure ground chilli that is spicy, not the blend sold in the US as “Chili Powder”. Sub with cayenne pepper;
  • Fresh green chilli – these are more for visual than to add flavour or spice into the dish so these can ben omitted if you prefer. Because these are large chillies, they are not very spicy;
  • Coconut milk – full fat best, for flavour and sauce thickness. Ayam is my brand of choice – it’s got the highest coconut % and therefore best flavour (89%). Economical brands can have as low as 40% so the flavour is nowhere near as good.

Alternatives: Evaporated milk, cream or light cream (though you do lose the coconut flavour, there’s tons of flavour from the spices!);

  • Tomato pulp – use tomato polpa / pulp if you can find it (it’s finely chopped tomato, I use Mutti) otherwise tomato passata (aka tomato puree or strained tomato) or even canned crushed tomato will work just fine here;
  • Whole tomato – cut into chunks for stirring into the sauce;
  • Tomato paste – for thickening and a touch of extra tart; and
  • Sugar – to balance the sour flavours. If you use an economical coconut milk (ie lower coconut %) then you may need to dial it up a touch.

Best Fish for Curry

You can use virtually any fish in this curry – white fish fillets, salmon, trout. See below for a list of recommended common fish.

This curry is also a very good way to use economical frozen fish because unlike for dishes like Ceviche and Poke Bowls, sashimi-grade freshness is not paramount here.

Spanish Mackeral fillets for Goan Fish Curry

For white fish, firm-fleshed fish are ideal, such as:

  • spanish mackeral – this is what I used, excellent value
  • tilapia
  • snapper
  • barramundi
  • cod (all types)
  • mahi-mahi
  • halibut
  • basa
  • ling

Specifically, curry is very good for economical fish, “fishy” fish and freshwater fish that can sometimes have a bit of a muddy flavour because the strong flavour of the curry sauce will disguise any shortfall in fish flavour.

Fun fact: you’ll find that fish dishes in inland areas of China and other Asian countries that only have access to freshwater fish are mostly served with very strong flavoured sauces – to disguise that muddy flavour. ???? Not everyone has access to sparkling fresh saltwater fish!

Fish best avoided include:

  • Fish that easily goes dry if cooked too long – tuna, bonito, swordfish, marlin, kingfish
  • Very oily fish – sardines, mullet, herring
  • Delicate-textured white fish – flathead, gemfish/hake, sole (not ideal as they can break up easily, but are still OK if you’re careful)

How to make Goan Fish Curry

And here’s how to make it. Once you’ve measured out the ingredients, it takes less than 20 minutes:

How to make Goan Fish Curry

  1. Curry paste first – put it all in a jug that the blender stick fits into (I hope you’ve still got the milkshake container yours came with!) then blitz away. Use water to help it blitz – otherwise it’s too dry;
  2. Blitz until the onion is puree – it won’t take much longer than 10 seconds, there’s nothing hard in this curry paste;
  3. Cook off the curry paste – this is to make the spice flavours bloom and cook the onion, garlic and ginger. Also, to cook out the water that we added to help the paste puree;
  4. Cook off tomato paste – next, we add the tomato paste and tomato pulp/puree, and cook that down to as well to get rid of excess water;
  5. Add coconut milk and remaining sauce ingredients;
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes to reduce and bring the flavours together;
  7. Add fish in the last few minutes – it only takes 3 to 4 minutes to cook;
  8. Garnish with fresh coriander and green chillies, then serve over basmati rice!

Overhead photo of Goan Fish Curry served in a bowl with basmati rice with a side of cucumber yogurt salad and naan

Close up of Goan Fish Curry over Basmati Rice

What to serve with Goan Fish Curry

As with all Indian curries, the traditional way to serve this is with white basmati rice, though it’s perfectly acceptable and just as delicious served with white rice, jasmine or brown rice (brown basmati rice is terrific!).

If you’re going low carb or want to cut calories, then cauliflower rice works, though nothing beats the real thing. ????

A side of naan for mopping the plate clean would be wonderful but I’m still working on the recipe so I can’t share that with you yet! So until then, use this Easy Soft Flatbread which makes a wonderful substitute.

For something fresh, my favourite by far is a cool, refreshing Yogurt Cucumber Salad. The minted lemon yogurt dressing with the juicy bites of cucumber is literally made for Indian food.

Sides for Goan Fish Curry

We all know that fish is good for you, and we should eat more of it. So now you’ve got a brand new exciting way to cook fish, what are you waiting for??! ???? Try it! And if you do, let me know what you think! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Goan Fish Curry in a bowl served over rice

Goan Fish Curry

Recipe video above. This famous Goan fish curry comes to you from Goa, a little pocket of Indian paradise that's all about the sun, surf, sand and excellent seafood! Deeply aromatic tomato and coconut based sauce, this recipe has a few more spices and steps than the basic recipes you'll find online because this aims to replicate the richer sauce and layers of flavour you get at (good) Indian restuarants.
Once you've made this with fish, try it with prawns/shrimp - it's excellent!
SPICINESS: Quite spicy as written, but not blow-your-head-off! I thoroughly enjoy it as written, not suffering. See Spice Note below for adjustment to reduce / eliminate spiciness.
Course curries, Main
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Fish curry, Goan fish curry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 - 5 people
Calories 484cal
Author Nagi


Curry paste:

  • 2 1/2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder (Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder (Note 2)
  • 3/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 6 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger , finely grated
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind puree (Note 3)
  • 1/2 red onion , chopped
  • 6 tbsp water (plus more, as needed)


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (Note 4)
  • 1/2 red onion , cut in half again (like a quartered orange) and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup canned tomato pulp/polp (Mutti), OR tomato passata or crushed tomato, Note 5)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 400ml/ 14oz coconut milk , full fat (Note 6)
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt , cooking/kosher (or 3/4 tsp fine table salt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder (pure chilli, not US Chili Powder which is a mix, Note 7)
  • 2 long green chillies , cut into half lengthwise and deseeded, optional (Note 8)
  • 1 to mato , cut into 8 wedges then into 2.5cm / 1" chunks
  • 600 g firm-fleshed fish , cut into 3cm / 1.25" cubes
  • Garnish:
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
  • Finely sliced green chillies , optional


Curry Paste:

  • Place Curry Paste ingredients in a tall jug or milkshake container (something that fits the head of a blender stick) then blitz on high for 5 to 10 seconds until the onion is pureed. Add more water if needed to make it puree.


  • Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot.
  • Add black mustard seeds and let them sizzle for 30 seconds - careful, they might pop!
  • Add curry paste and cook for 3 minutes - to evaporate water, make spices bloom and cook garlic & ginger.
  • Turn heat up to medium high. Add tomato paste and tomato pulp, cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk, sugar and salt. Stir, then bring to simmer, low heat so it's bubbling gently.
  • Simmer for 2 minutes, add tomato and green chilli.
  • Simmer for another 3 minutes, stirring every now and then - sauce should be thickened (not watery), it gets looser again when fish is added (it leeches juice).
  • Add fish, stir, cook for 3 to 4 minutes until fish easily flakes.
  • Remove from stove and transfer to serving bowl. Garnish with coriander/cilantro and fresh green chillies if desired.
  • Serve with basmati rice!


Spice Note: This recipe as written is quite spicy, as is traditional. The spiciness comes from the Kashmiri chilli powder and chilli powder. To reduce spiciness, leave out the chilli powder. To make it not spicy at all, sub Kashmiri for smoked paprika.

1. Kashmiri Chili - spicy Indian chilli powder that gives this curry the red colour. Sub with smoked paprika + chilli powder (not US Chili Powder which is a blend) or cayenne pepper). Pretty close flavour but, you won’t get quite the same red colour. Find at Indian store (I go to Indian Emporium in Dee Why, Sydney).
2. Fenugreek powder - another Indian spice, kind of smells like maple syrup! Find at Indian grocery stores, not a key ingredient so just skip it if you can't find it.
3. Tamarind puree - sour paste with consistency like tomato paste. Can be labelled as Tamarind Puree, Concentrate or Paste. In Australia it's sold at Woolies, Coles, Harris Farms (Asian section) as well as Asian stores.
Best sub:. 1 tbsp tomato ketchup + 1 tbsp white vinegar (yes, really, used as sub for Pad Thai too and there are plenty of rave reviews!).
4. Black mustard seeds - looks like poppyseeds, wasabi bite, Indian aroma! ~ $1.50 in small packs at Indian grocery stores (my local is Indian Emporium in Dee Why, Sydney). Also sold in the Indian food section at some Woolworths (Australia) $1.70, otherwise try online.
We aren't using stacks in this recipe, so not the end of the world if you can't find it. Just substitute with one of these (starting with best): Brown mustard seeds, Yellow mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp mustard powder*, 1/2 tsp Garam Masala* (*different flavour, but is intended to make up for absence, add into curry paste)
5. Tomato pulp - this will yield the most authentic result because it's finely diced tomato (it's chunkier small bits that crushed), but canned crushed tomato or tomato passata can be used in a pinch. It's really not a big deal which you use.
6. Coconut milk - full fat best for thickening and flavour, Ayam is my brand of choice (highest coconut %, least water).
Alternatives (if you can't have coconut): evaporated milk or cream. Strong flavour of spices will compensate for not using coconut!
7. Chilli powder - leave this out if you can't handle the heat! Not to be confused with US Chili Powder (one "l") which is a non spicy spice blend. This is pure ground chilli. Sub cayenne pepper.
8. Green chillies - doesn't add spiciness into sauce, it's more for looks so it's optional. If making this non spicy, omit it.
9. Original creation by the RecipeTin family, striving to replicate the Goan Fish Curry at the great Malabar South Indian Restaurant in Crows Nest and from travels to Goa. As with all our curry recipes, we draw ideas and inspiration from many sources - watching Youtube videos of Indian homecooks cooking this dish at home, as well as reputable chefs like Atul Kochhar and Rick Stein, and studying books on Indian food. We take the best bits to most closely achieve the flavour we are after!
10. Nutrition per serving, excluding rice. 4 generous servings!


Calories: 484cal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 916mg | Potassium: 1012mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 6mg

 Life of Dozer

A photographer at the dog beach – Unleashed Northern Beaches – caught this photo of Dozer on the weekend! I loved it so much I bought it, and I think I’ll even get it framed. ????

Dozer rolling in sand---Unleashed-Northern-Beaches

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Longevity Leek Soup

My Irishman loves leeks. When I came across a recipe for ‘Longevity Leek Soup’ in Dr Gundry’s book, ‘The Longevity Paradox’, I couldn’t resist making my own (more simple) version. I’ve used celeriac (celery root) as the main vegetable because it’s delicious. But it’s also fine for my Irishman’s IBS. Unlike cauliflower (the other option). […] The post Longevity Leek Soup appeared first on Stonesoup.

Longevity Leek Soup

My Irishman loves leeks.

When I came across a recipe for ‘Longevity Leek Soup’ in Dr Gundry’s book, ‘The Longevity Paradox’, I couldn’t resist making my own (more simple) version.

I’ve used celeriac (celery root) as the main vegetable because it’s delicious. But it’s also fine for my Irishman’s IBS. Unlike cauliflower (the other option).

With the leeks, it does clock in as a higher carb meal than my usual recipes but of course you can always see the Keto variation below if needed.


Longevity Leek Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine modern
Keyword green olives, leeks, longevity, pecans, soup
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 2 large leeks (300g / 10oz)
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 1/2 celeriac (celery root) or cauliflower (400g / 14oz)
  • 1.5 cups chicken or veg stock
  • 50 g pecans 2 small handfuls
  • 50 g green olives 2 small handfuls


  • Wash leeks and finely slice the white and light green parts. Discard the dark green tops.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Remove and discard stems from the thyme. Add chopped leeks and thyme to the saucepan. Cook, covered for about 10 minutes or until leeks are soft but not browned. Stir once or twice to make sure the leeks don't burn.
  • While the leeks are cooking peel celeriac (if using) and chop into 1cm chunks. If using cauliflower no need to peel :).
  • When the leeks are soft add the prepared celeriac / cauliflower, the stock and 1.5 cups water. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until the veg are no longer hard and crunchy.
  • While the soups is cooking de-seed olives and chop the flesh. Coarsely chop the pecans.
  • When the soup is cooked, remove from the heat and carefully puree using a stick blender. Or leave the soup chunky if you prefer.
  • Divide hot soup between two bowls and top with olives, pecans and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

NET CARBS: 43g/serve

Variations & Substitutions Leek Soup

short on time – use 2 saucepans to cook the leeks and simmer the cauli at the same time.

keto / ultra low carb – try this Tuscan Greens Soup.

carnivore – add some cooked bacon, sausage, chicken, chorizo.

green – add a bag of baby spinach or some cooked green veg at the end.

more substantial (carb lovers) – crusty bread, toast or add cooked pasta.

more substantial (low carb) – more olive oil, more olives, more nuts or see the carnivore options.

Low FODMAP – try this Tuscan Greens Soup.

different vegetables – onions instead of leeks. Any root veg can be used instead of the celeriac so things like swede, rutabaga, parsnip, sweet potato, pumpkin or broccoli or cabbage.

different nuts – walnuts, almonds or macadamias.

no olives – just replace with extra nuts or skip it or replace with crumbled feta, goats cheese or grated parmesan.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

onions – in a dark pantry.

olive oil / ground coriander/ ground cumin – keep them in the pantry.

chicken thigh fillets – freeze them.

almond hummus / regular hummus – will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Can be frozen.

salad baby kale / baby spinach leaves – baby spinach – either freeze or wilt down in a pan with a little oil and then keep in the fridge for weeks.

Problem Solving Guide Leek Soup

bland – more salt! more olive oil! or a squeeze of lemon.

too thick – just add a little water or more stock.

too watery – it’s important to simmer with the lid off when cooking the celeriac / cauli. If the soup is too thin simmer uncovered to thicken or add something like almond meal or extra nuts.

no stick blender – serve as a chunky soup (my Irishman likes it better that way). Or carefully transfer the soup to your blender or food processor to puree.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the olives and pecans separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, bring back to a simmer and top with olives, nuts and extra olive oil.

Recipes Similar to Longevity Leek Soup

  • Creamy Mushroom, Leek & Spinach Soup
  • Tuscan Greens Soup
  • Super Easy Smoked Salmon Spinach Tart
  • Roast Cauli Soup with Bacon & Blue Cheese
  • Creamy Cabbage & Almond Soup

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

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