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Butter Fish Curry Recipe

Tony is a curry addict. Ask him what he wants—the answer will always be a curry. He has travelled to India many times in search of recipes.

This amazing butter fish curry recipe includes so many incredible ingredients.

This amazing butter fish curry recipe includes so many incredible ingredients.

Rating for Butter Curry

Main Meal or Starter

This is a very straightforward dish to make. If you have company coming for a meal, you can serve it as a starter or as a main. Whichever you choose, they will be suitably impressed. In addition, you can make it hotter [spicier] or mild by increasing the amount of chili.

What Is a Curry?

The term curry does not really come from India, but it was a word coined by the British when they were in India. Today the word is understood by everyone and even Indians use the term, although it means different things in different regions.

What Makes a Good Curry?

Making a good curry requires time, patience and love. Each section requires patience or when the curry is put together, it will not deliver the expected flavours. I’m always excited whenever I cook a curry, I love mixing and blending the wonderful, exotic flavours; trying a bit of this or that in my bid to make the perfect curry.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

45 min

30 min

1 hour 15 min

Enough to feed six

Which Fish Makes a Good Curry

You can use any fish you like for this dish. Certain fish are meatier and hold together better in this type of dish. Today I’m using Hake, but fish such as Monk Fish Tail, Salmon, or Pollock would do. I find that cod and haddock fall apart too easily when cooked this way. Sometimes I use shellfish: prawns, shrimp, crab, and I like to add squid and octopus too when I have them in the freezer.


  • 2 Fish, fillets boned and skinned

Fish Marinate

The first step is to marinate the fish. Put some Zing into your flavors.

  • Juice of one lemon
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 2 teaspoons of Kashmiri chilli [this type is quite mild, but adds a deep red colour.]
  • 1 dessert spoon of garlic. You can use fresh, but the paste adds a more intense flavour.
  • Pour the juice of one Lemon over the fish. Rub the other ingredients in and leave for about an hour. This gives it time to flavour the fish; you can leave it overnight. I have to admit I’m never that well organized.

Fish in Lemon

Fish marinade

Fish marinade

Add Zing to Your Fish

Adding the zing to my fish

Adding the zing to my fish

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Read More From Delishably

Other Ingredients

  • 2 med onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1” of ginger
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • Mixed spices: cumin, coriander, cloves, as seeds and turmeric and chilli powder. I also sometimes add cloves and star anise to give it more punch.

Chop Ingredients


How to Process Your Spices

my spice grinder and toaster

my spice grinder and toaster

Spice Grinder

Grind the spices. I buy most of my spices as seeds and grind them in my spice/coffee grinder. I find that they have far more flavor and they last much longer than powders.

I have a small toaster for the seeds so that i can heat them just until they are giving off a wonderful aroma

How to Cook Your Butter Fish

Start by preparing the spices to give you their best flavors.

Fine chop the ginger and garlic.

Put the spices in a small pan, spreading them out over the bottom of the pan. Toast with a very gentle heat; as they begin to give off an aroma add two tablespoons of ghee to give them a wonderful buttery taste, and then mix with the powder until it forms a paste now also add the garlic and ginger. Be very careful not to have the heat too high. Add water or coconut milk and stir to form gravy, cook until the oil begins to separate from the rest of the mix.

Cook the Other Ingredients

  • Now cook the onions.
  • Fine chop the onions, spinach and celery.
  • Heat a large pan of deep frying pan and put the onions and celery in; don’t add any oil yet, just sweat them a little. When they begin to steam, keep stirring them on a middle heat, as they begin to go a little bit transparent put in your preferred oil, ghee is the best to use, but grape-seed, olive, coconut oil or peanut oil is okay too. Let the whole thing gently fry, this will give you a far better flavour [this also applies to gravies too] when they are just turning golden. Add the tomatoes and cook.
  • Add 2 dessert spoons of lentil flour to help thicken the gravy.
  • Add the Fish.
  • Place the fish portions in the pan and cover them with the onions and spices. Gently stir, be careful not to break up the fish.

Add Spinach and Steam

  • Wash and Chop the spinach.
  • Sprinkle the spinach over the top of the curry and place a lid on the pan and let it simmer gently. When the spinach wilts, stir it in very gently. add two or three large knobs of butter for extra richness and a fantastic flavor.
  • Cook and steam for about 15 minutes.

This dish is great with long grain rice, bread or chapattis. I even sometimes serve it with Chinese style noodles, or even pasta.

Tasty Chapati

A tasty chapati an ideal accompaniment.

A tasty chapati an ideal accompaniment.

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