4.5/5 rating (44 votes)

Hot Nariyal Machchi

White Fish in a Coconut Sauce

  • Heat Hot
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 5 mins
  • Cook 20 mins

White fish in a spicy coconut sauce that's simple, light and creamy yet bursting with the coastal flavours of Southern India.

Hari says

This is an amazingly simple sauce to create. The flavours are complex and powerful and it tastes like you've spent hours marinading, reducing and perfecting the flavour of the dish. But you haven't. In reality, this is quick an easy to cook and you can keep it simple or turn it into a full-on seafood feast with the addition or prawns, mussels, squid - whatever takes your fancy.

The southern flavours of fresh red chilli and coconut gives this an exotic, moorish quality and I can assure you, it will be one that you cook over and over again.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 400g white fish loin, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium onions, blended in a food processor to a grated consistency
  • 200g /½ tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tbsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 to 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 200ml coconut cream
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When sizzling and aromatic add the onions and fry until they are a golden colour.
  2. Add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, chilli powder and fresh chillies. Stir together and leave to cook so the tomatoes break down and you are left with a thick paste.
  3. Pour in the coconut cream and cook gently for a few minutes so the flavours combine.
  4. Add the fish and stir to coat with the sauce.
  5. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and place the lid half on the pan and leave to cook for about 5-10 minutes until cooked.
  6. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if required.
  7. Remove from heat and add garam masala and throw in the fresh coriander to serve.

Served with

Beautiful with plain rice

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)8.9
of which saturates (g)6.2
Carbohydrates (g)3.4
of which sugars (g)2.8
Fibre (g)0.4
Protein (g)8.2
Salt (mg)0.70
*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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Comments (4)

  • Andrew


    12 December 2020 at 14:33 |
    Thanks for the recipe. It certainly looks straightforward and efficient to make. I'm going to make it, as written, this weekend.
    Surprised that there don't seem to be many spices and not used to seeing an Indian recipe without garlic and ginger. It looks like the main flavouring is cumin seeds plus coconut and fish. Are other spices left out just for convenience or is the idea to not overpower the fish?
    Thanks Hari for all the great recipes and videos!


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      06 January 2021 at 19:30 |
      Hi I have kept this one simple to show that you don't to add a lot to get great flavours. It's really simple and good if you are new to Indian food but also great if you fancy a curry quickly. Hope you enjoy it! Hari


  • Rick


    14 November 2016 at 01:33 |
    Hello, I just found your site about two months ago and have been using it ever since! I really like the recipes and I just made this dish tonight, it was super easy and very good, thank you so much.
    What I'd like to know is how much a 'small' or 'medium' onion weighs. I live in the US and the onions I can get appear to be much larger than the ones you use in the videos. Also, when you make the videos do you use the same amount of ingredients in the recipe on the website?
    Thanks again!


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      15 November 2016 at 09:22 |
      Hi Rick so pleased to hear that you are loving the website and the recipes over there in the US. I would say a medium size onion is medium onion is about 165g and a small one about 70g. For the videos I try to keep the ingredients as per the recipes on the website but it sometimes it can vary. I hope this helps - Thanks so much for trying this dish - I think it's a good one. Thanks for your comments and let me know if you try any of the other dishes. Thanks so much Hari


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