Tamarind & Coconut Fish Curry


Tamarind Fish Curry by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

I’m so predictable… here we are on a Friday during Lent and I’m sharing a recipe for fish. Sometimes predictability is nice though, right? I mean, this is probably the perfect post for those of you wondering what to make for dinner tonight – or for those of you looking to get a head start on planning for next Friday’s meal. Here’s your answer: tamarind & coconut fish curry.

This curry is a creamy and slightly tangy fish dish perfect for serving over rice (or cauli-rice). One thing that’s pretty predictable about Indian recipes is that there’s almost always a souring agent – something that gives a dish a little tang. In this recipe, the souring agent is tamarind paste. It adds a nice depth of flavor to this spiced coconut stew.

Tamarind Fish Curry by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

Typically I stick to making easy fish recipes like my plantain-crusted haddock but sometimes it’s nice to make a recipe that takes a little more work but rewards with more flavor. Plus, this really doesn’t take that much more effort. That’s the great thing about seafood – it’s so quick to cook that it’s really not hard to make.

Tamarind Fish Curry by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

Tamarind Coconut Milk Fish Curry

Tamarind Fish Curry by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

Tamarind Coconut Milk Fish Curry

4.91 from 10 reviews
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  • 1 ½ pounds haddock or another mild white fish, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil divided
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 serrano chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1- inch ginger chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon tamarind paste
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Cilantro optional


  • Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in saute pan and then add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onion and serrano pepper.
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown. Then add the garlic and ginger, stir for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat.
  • Scoop everything from out of the pan and put it into a food processor or blender along with the water. Puree until smooth.
  • Pour this back into the pan over medium heat. Add the spices and mix well. Then add the fish and mix well.
  • Add the remaining coconut oil to the pan, cover with a lid and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
  • Put the tamarind paste into a small bowl and then pour some of the hot liquid from the fish curry into the bowl to completely dissolve the paste. Add this back to the pan.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, garnish with cilantro and serve.
  • Note: this fish curry tastes better the next day.
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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. John says

    I have made so many of your delicious recipes! I appreciate this web site and your efforts more than you can know. I am wondering if you have made this one in Instant Pot? Could it be made with the frozen onion masala?

  2. Angie says

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner. Used halibut. Didn’t have cilantro, but you list it as optional, didn’t miss it. Followed directions exactly. The results were delicious! I’ll make it again soon. Now I need more recipes please for that big jar of tamarind paste…

    • Patricia McGinnis says

      Exactly! I had to order the big jar of tamarind paste for the Cook’s Illustrated Pad Thai recipe I made, so looking for other ways to use it. I’ll try this today, and won’t even have to go to the market!

  3. Sandra says

    5 stars
    Made this with frozen tilapia and it was delicious! Loved the complexity that the various spices and tamarind paste gives it–plus can’t go wrong with coconut milk in a curry. Another winner recipe. Thanks Ashley.

  4. M says

    4 stars
    Great recipe! Try Lal Mirch instead of paprika if you have it handy in the pantry and definitely add 2-3 tsp brown sugar at very end to pull this together. I bet this would be lovely with shrimp or mussels too! I totally cheated and used bottled ginger/garlic paste to cut down prep 🙂

  5. Warren Hill says

    5 stars
    Just wanted to chime in that I’ve made this a few times now – always very delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

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