This fish curry recipe comes to you from the Malabar coast – it’s flavorful, slightly spicy and features two ingredients that are aplenty in the south Indian state of Kerala: fish and coconut. The spiced creamy coconut sauce in this Kerala Fish Curry is lip-smackingly delicious. Make sure you use my paleo naan to help you scoop up all the sauce.
This recipe is from my mom(in-law), an amazing cook who makes the most amazing Keralite food. I’m always so amazed by the flavors in this type of food – it’s SO different from the north Indian food (i.e. butter chicken, shami kebab, sarson ka saag) that I’m used to eating. Just goes to show, “Indian food” is more diverse than most of us realize.
We ate this fish stew over the weekend as part of our Easter brunch – along with ham, mutton biryani and beef croquettes. My mom-in-law cooks up a feast every time my husband and I come home to visit, but our Easter spread was an incredible amount of food. The stew was my favorite Here’s a picture of me with my Easter bunny (husband) and his fam.
Make this fish stew any time of the year – the fish makes it a light dish, so it’s perfect for spring or summer. Fresh curry leaves have a distinct taste and aroma – they really add so much flavor and depth to this dish. Make sure to use curry leaves for this recipe and not curry powder… two totally different things! You can find curry leaves at your local Indian grocery store or on amazon – just be sure to buy fresh curry leaves .
We used wild-caught rockfish for this recipe and it was delicious. You can use another type of fish – just make sure it’s a firm, meaty fish because otherwise it’ll fall apart in the curry. Make this any day for any meal – it’s a winner.
This is one of the many delicious recipes in my eBook, South Asian Persuasion so if you’re looking for healthy paleo-friendly recipes with a lot of flavor, then be sure to check it out!
- 2 pounds of Rockfish or another firm, white fish, cut into large chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- To make Curry:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- 12 pearl onions, cut in half
- 40 small curry leaves, divided
- 2 Serrano peppers, slit but intact
- ½ inch knob ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 ½ cans coconut milk, full-fat, divided
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Optional garnish: cashews sauteed in coconut oil or ghee
- Marinate fish with salt and turmeric. Set aside for now.
- Melt coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, then saute the onions, pearl onions, 20 curry leaves, Serrano peppers. Sauté for 15 minutes, or until the onions turn brown.
- Add the ginger and spices. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove half of this mixture and set aside for now.
- Saute until the onions are golden brown, then remove half of the mixture and set aside for garnish.
- Add the fish, 1 can of coconut milk, ¼ cup of water and the remaining curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes, then cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ½ can of coconut milk and the apple cider vinegar to the pan. Continue cooking until the fish is done.
- Garnish with the onion mixture and serve.