Course: Breakfast, Curry, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: South Asian, Sri Lankan
Keyword: Curry, Easy Dinner, Fish, Fish Curr, Seafood, Side Dishes, Sri Lankan
Prep Time: 10minutes
Cook Time: 30minutes
Marinating time (minimum time): 10minutes
Total Time: 50minutes
Author: Dini @ The Flavor Bender
An authentic Sri Lankan Fish Curry that is easy to make, and bursting with flavor! Can be made with seafood too. Very versatile recipe! I give you options for different types of fish, and how to adjust the spices and coconut milk for a creamier or spicier curry. EASY - This recipe is very easy to make. Measurements given for spices are approximates, and can be adjusted to your taste.
¾tbspground black pepperI prefer freshly ground black pepper
¾tbspcayenne pepperor kashmiri chili powder
1stick of cinnamonabout 3 inches
1tsptamarind concentratemore if you’re using regular tamarind paste
2cupscoconut milkpreferably full fat coconut milk
Salt to taste
Marinating the fish
Cut the fish into 2 - 3 inch pieces (this doesn’t have to precise).
450 - 500 g swordfish or tuna
Place the fish in a bowl, along with all the other marinade spices. Mix to coat and let the fish marinate for 10 - 20 minutes.
1 tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp Sri Lankan curry powder, ½ tsp ground black pepper, ½ tsp cayenne pepper
While the fish is marinating, prep and start to cook the curry.
Making the curry
Heat about 1 - 2 tbsp of oil in a medium to large size pot, over medium heat. Preferably use vegetable oil, canola oil, or coconut oil.
When the oil has heated, add the onion, and saute until it starts to soften. Then add the garlic and ginger, and saute until the onion has further softened.
½ medium onion, 2 - 3 cloves garlic, 1 inch piece of ginger
Add the curry leaves, green chili, turmeric, curry powder, cardamom, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Saute for about 30 - 60 seconds until the spices become fragrant, but take care not to let them burn.
10 curry leaves, 2 green chili, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp Sri Lankan curry powder, ½ tsp ground cardamom, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¾ tbsp ground black pepper, ¾ tbsp cayenne pepper, 1 stick of cinnamon
Add the fish and tamarind, and gently mix until the fish is coated with all the spices.
450 - 500 g swordfish or tuna, 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
Add the coconut milk and stir it in.
2 cups coconut milk
Bring the curry to a boil over medium high / high heat. Then lower the heat to a gentle simmer, and simmer the curry without the lid for about 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
Taste and add more salt and/or tamarind to taste.
Salt to taste
Let the curry sit for at least another 10 - 20 minutes if you can, before serving. This allows the flavors to develop further. Leftovers taste even better!
Serve the fish curry with rice or roti, and other curries or side dishes.
Note about the fish
You can also use tuna (fresh), sail fish, mackerel, or any other firm fleshed fish to make this fish curry.
Note about the curry powder
I use homemade Sri Lankan curry powder, but you can also use store-bought Sri Lankan curry powder. Another alternative is Madras curry powder. But avoid using regular curry powders available at the store, since these almost always don't use the proper spices for a curry powder. Garam masala can also be used, but this will change the curry flavor to a more pronounced Indian curry flavor, which is distinctly different from Sri Lankan curries.
Note about the coconut milk
Please use full fat coconut milk if you can. This gives the best flavor. For a creamier fish curry, add a little water (about ¼ cup) to the fish, and let the fish curry simmer with the lid on. Once the fish is cooked through, add the coconut milk and bring the curry to a boil and simmer for about 1 minute. Then the curry is ready to be served.If you'd like an even spicier curry, simply replace the coconut milk with water. The spices will also be more pronounced in flavor this way.
Notes about the ingredients
If you don’t have tamarind, you can use lemon or lime juice instead. However, since tamarind is very sour, you can add HALF the amount first, and then add more if you enjoy the sourness. If you don't like spicy curries, then adjust the black pepper and cayenne pepper amounts to your taste.