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Quick and Easy Fish Curry With Coconut Milk Recipe

I used to help in our family restaurant. I love good food and enjoy thinking up creative ways to cook and use leftovers to avoid food waste.

Eat your fish curry with rice and maybe roti or naan bread.

Eat your fish curry with rice and maybe roti or naan bread.

Mildly Spicy Fish Curry

I sometimes make this curry for my grandchildren, who like spicy flavors but don't like anything very hot. They all rave about it.

I like to add extra vegetables for extra nourishment. If a smoother curry is preferred, you can always blend the vegetables before adding them to the sauce, or you can omit them altogether.

How I Learned to Make This Curry

Many years ago, in the mid-1960s, I worked in a typically English restaurant with an Indian person. He wasn't actually a chef, but we decided to produce Indian curries on the menu, and he taught me how to cook and use Asian spices the way his mother had shown him in India.

The dishes we cooked were not necessarily the dishes you would normally find in an Indian restaurant, but they were popular, and we enjoyed branching out a bit.

The skills and taste for hot and spicy food have remained with me, and in turn, I have passed them on to my family who are all very creative in their cookery.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

15 min

25 min

6 servings


  • 3 medium to large fresh carrots, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or other cooking oil
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green vegetables (e.g., cabbage, spinach, broccoli or even lettuce)
  • 4 pounds (2 kilograms) white fish (you can use any fish, so I use the cheapest, which is usually basa)
  • 1 tin coconut milk (or coconut cream or powdered coconut milk)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic and onion paste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fish curry paste, depending how hot you want your curry: when cooked, taste it and add more for a stronger flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons peas, frozen
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh coriander (optional)


  1. Peel the carrots and cut them into fairly thin slices. Put them on to boil in a small amount of water, just covering them. So they will be boiling whilst you are preparing everything else.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan whilst peeling and chopping the onions. Then fry the onions on medium heat, so that they brown and sweat without burning. Stir them every now and then, whilst preparing the other ingredients, and add the red pepper.
  3. Chop the greens up fairly small and add them to the carrots, making sure the water covers them.
  4. Cut the fish into pieces, either lengthwise or widthwise, about 4 inches long (although precise size doesn't matter).
  5. Mix the curry paste with a little hot water from the carrots. Then mix it in with the coconut milk.
  6. Add the fish to the pan of onions on a very low heat, sprinkling all over with the turmeric. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the curry and coconut mixture, the garlic and ginger paste, and the frozen peas, carrots and greens. Stir gently to mix the ingredients. The sauce should be fairly thick and creamy. If it looks a bit dry, add some of the vegetable water.
  7. The fish only takes about 5 minutes to cook from frozen, so make sure it does not fall to pieces from overcooking. Let the dish stand for a few minutes or more so that the fish absorbs some of the flavors.
  8. Serve with rice (see the video below if you are not sure how to cook rice).
This is the fish curry paste I use, but any brand would do.

This is the fish curry paste I use, but any brand would do.

Fish Curry Paste: Available in Asian Shops

Fish curry in various forms is so popular all over Asia that you can ring the changes with different fish curry sauces from different countries. The ones I use most are Sri Lankan.

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