Goan Fish Curry | Hari Ghotra  

3.7/5 rating (40 votes)

Goan Fish Curry

Goa di Machchi

  • Heat Hot
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Cook 20 mins

Fish cooked in a spicy paste of chilli and coconut with the tang of fruity tamarind and sweet onions.

Hari says

An iconic south Indian dish which uses my favourite whole Kashmiri chillies as the key ingredient. In the south, it's all about frying a pungent spice paste to create the basis for a delicious sauce and fill your kitchen with a mouth-watering fragrance.

This dish uses some classic ingredients from the region from fresh coconut to tamarind for a robust, yet fresh and fragrant, flavour. I love this cooking style because it's all about cracking spices, squishing garlic, bashing ginger and slicing chillies. 'Argument Cooking' I call it.

We use the flat pestle and mortar to grind spices, the coconut scraper (The Coconut Scraper - that's going on my gravestone) and even a machete to split the coconut. Exciting stuff. Now, you can use coconut cream to create a thicker creamy sauce or you can go down the traditional path as I do and use water to make a thinner, lighter sauce. Either way, this is a classic curry packed wih fresh tastes you will just love.

Check out my Goan curry kits here for a handy packet of all the top quality spices you need for this recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 600g skinless white fish fillets, chopped into chunks


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Spice paste

  • 8 dried red chillies
  • 80g fresh coconut, grated
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp tamarind extract


  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, puréed
  • 3 fresh chillies, slit lengthways
  • Handful of coriander, chopped


  1. Mix the salt, lemon juice and turmeric powder and rub over the fish chunks and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Soak the dried chilli in 250ml of warm water for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the water.
  3. Make up the spice paste by placing the soaked chillies, coconut, coriander seeds, chopped onion, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, garlic, tamarind extract and two tablespoons of the reserved soaking water in a blender and process to make a smooth paste.
  4. Heat oil in a shallow wide based pan and add the sliced onion and fry to soften - do not brown. Add the spice paste and cook until golden brown. You may need a splash of water to ensure the paste doesn't burn.
  5. Once aromatic stir in the tomato purée and fresh chillies and cook for a further five minutes.
  6. Add water (or coconut milk if you prefer) to create a lovely sauce, bring to the boil and cook for a few more minutes. 
  7. Reduce the heat and gently place the marinated fish with any juice into the pan and cook for between five and seven minutes until the fish is soft.
  8. Sprinkle with coriander to serve.


Served with

All you need is some plain rice or naan and let the fish speak for itself.

Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)4.7
of which saturates (g)2.6
Carbohydrates (g)3.2
of which sugars (g)2.6
Fibre (g)1.0
Protein (g)9.6
Salt (mg)0.72
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Goan Fish Curry ”


Comments (12)

  • Ravi


    21 January 2017 at 03:50 |
    Ginger missing ? Can't think of a fish curry without that. I am giing to add that, as a variation when I try this today


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      23 January 2017 at 09:11 |
      Hi Ravi how was it?


  • Jo


    17 January 2017 at 13:16 |
    I cooked this on Friday night for a party of ten people, by doubling up the quantity and adding some tiger prawns mange tout along with the fish - it was delicious and easy to make. I cut back a little on the number of chillies as was concerned it would be too spicy for some. I have just finished it off now for lunch, watered down to make a soup - yum! Will definitely be making this again!


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      17 January 2017 at 20:28 |
      Hi Jo That's fantastic to hear - I can see why you would tone it down a bit when catering for a large group. Like the idea of the soup too. Thanks so much for using the recipe and taking time to leave a comment. Let me know what else you try Thanks Hari


  • Khairunissa Virani

    Khairunissa Virani

    24 December 2016 at 01:24 |
    It's the first time visited your blog. The goan fish curry seems yummy. Will try it


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      29 December 2016 at 20:17 |
      Hi Welcome to the Hari Ghotra website - Thank you so much for stopping by. Let me know what you think of this dish I would love to hear what you think. Thanks Hari


  • Claire


    03 December 2015 at 20:51 |
    Just cooked this after finding it on Yummly. A few tweaks due to ingredients available & cooked for longer.
    One of the best curries I've cooked & very authentic to Goa.
    Now looking up your other receives. Thanks!


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      06 December 2015 at 10:44 |
      Hi Claire So nice to hear that you enjoyed this one! Keep in touch and let me know what you try next! Thanks for taking the time to comment Hari


  • Spices Online

    Spices Online

    15 May 2015 at 10:37 |
    This is my first visit to your blog, your post made productive reading, thank you.


  • Matthew Morris

    Matthew Morris

    15 March 2015 at 13:09 |
    It does help thank you, I've made two of your recipes now, and I've really enjoyed them...I've been using Rick Steins recipe book as a bible for the last half year...but I prefer the two recipes I've made of yours!


  • Hari


    14 March 2015 at 14:57 |
    Hi Matthew, this is usually a watery sauce so I don't specify because most people prefer it thicker. You can add a whole 400ml can of coconut milk and leave it to simmer so it thickens a little. Or pour in water to get the consistency you like. Does that help? Let me know how you get on. Thanks Hari


  • Matthew Morris

    Matthew Morris

    14 March 2015 at 00:07 |
    Hello, How much water/coconut milk should you add to this?


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Hari Ghotra