|April 21, 2023


The Indian Fish Curry is satisfying and very nutritious. It's packed with a burst of Indian flavors. The aroma and flavor of this Fish curry are enhanced by:

  • Onions
  • Tomatoes and 
  • Spices & herbs 

Adding these ingredients enriches its taste. A well-made fish curry delights the entire family. 

You can have delicious fish curry with the following:

  • Chapati
  • Roti
  • Naan, or
  • A bowl of steaming hot rice

Having these with Fish Masala curry is comfort food at its best!

What is Fish Curry?

Fish curry is a staple food in most Asian countries. Each country/region makes it in various ways using different locally available ingredients like:

  • Coconut
  • Poppy seeds
  • Tamarind etc. 

Even in India, you have several types of fish curries like:

  • Kerala fish curry
  • Goan fish curry
  • Bengali Fish curry
  • Meen Kolambu, from Tamil Nadu

And many more.

This article describes how to make mouthwatering fish curry in the easiest way with the most basic ingredients – the kitchen staples.

The coastal culture and cuisine of India is incomplete without the delicious Fish Curry. In the olden days, fresh fish were caught, cleaned, minimally spiced & cooked in clay cookware. This imparted delicious flavors. Fish curry rice is amongst the most popular fish-based meals in India.

Main ingredients and substitutes for fish curry

Which fish is good for curry? 

Although you can make a fish curry with any fish with firm flesh, it's recommended that you use a fish you love. Everyone has their own favourite fish and many will not compromise on their personal preferences. 

The following fishes are a good choice. They go very well in fish curry.

  • Mackerel (Spanish mackerel or King mackerel)
  • Tilapia
  • Snapper
  • Mahi mahi
  • Halibut
  • Catfish
  • Cod
  • Grouper
  • Barramundi
  • Pomfret
  • Basa
  • Seer fish

What main ingredients are used in fish curry? 

You can use following ingredients with these fishes in Fish curry recipe -

  • Ginger Garlic paste - Ginger garlic paste is nothing but ground ginger and garlic in equal measure. If you don't have ginger garlic paste at hand, you can use them in either minced or grated form. You can make it at home or use one bought from supermarkets. There is no substitute for Ginger Garlic paste. But you can use dried ginger and garlic powder at the finishing stage.
  • Curry Leaves - Curry leaves impart a unique flavor to the dish. Do not use dried curry leaves. You can choose to not use them. You can simply use an Indian bay leaf.
  • Garam Masala - Garam Masala is an Indian spice blend easily available in Asian stores. Using a flavorsome masala like Alco Garam Masala is essential, as it is the crucial ingredient that flavors your dish.
  • Fennel - Fennel seeds are a good spice as they add natural sweet tones and balance the other spices' pungent flavors. You can skip fennel if you don't have it.
  • Coconut milk - You can add as much coconut milk as you want, but note that it reduces the flavors. It's better to increase the proportion of garam masala and other spices accordingly. 


Fish curry is a staple food in most Asian countries. Each country/region makes it in various ways. The Indian Fish Curry is satisfying and very nutritious. It's packed with a burst of Indian flavors.

Print Recipe
  • Prep Time - 10 minutes 
  • Cook Time - 30 minutes 
  • Total Time - 40 minutes 
  • Servings - 4


For the Marinade

  • ½ kg - Fish (any firm-flesh fish)
  • ½ tablespoon - Ginger garlic paste
  • ⅛ teaspoon - Turmeric
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon - Alco red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp - Salt or as needed

For sautéing

  • One tablespoon - Oil (adjust as needed)
  • ½ teaspoon - Cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 medium - Sliced onions (about 1 cup)
  • ½ tablespoon - Minced ginger garlic (or ginger-garlic paste)
  • 2 - medium chopped ripe tomatoes (¾ to 1 cup chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon - Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon - Alco red chilli powder (adjust as needed)
  • ⅛ teaspoon - Alco turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon - Fennel seeds (saunf; optional)
  • 2 tablespoons - Coconut (grated or ¼ cup coconut milk or 12 cashew nuts)

For the fish curry

  • 1 tablespoon - Oil
  • 1 - Sprig of curry leaves (or a small bay leaf)
  • 1 or 2 - Green chilies (chopped or slit)
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon -  Alco garam masala or Alco curry powder (as needed)
  • 1-¼ to 1-½ cups - Water

Cooking Instructions


  1. Marinate fish with: ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste, ⅛ tsp Alco turmeric powder, ¼ tsp Alco red chilli powder, ¼ tsp salt
  2. Heat one teaspoon of oil on a flat fry pan. Fry fish pieces slightly until the raw smell disappears (about 2 to 3 mins on each side). You can also sear the fish. Keep this aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pot. Add cumin. When it starts sputtering, add the sliced onions. Sauté till they turn light golden.
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste now. Sauté for about 30 seconds. 
  5. Add the tomatoes & ½ tsp salt. Sauté them till they turn soft and mushy.
  6. Add the following: Coconut, Fennel seeds (optional), Alco red chili powder and Alco turmeric powder. Fry till the mixture becomes fragrant, and the raw smell is gone.
  7. Cool this and add to a blender jar along with 2 to 4 tbsps water. Blend to a smooth or coarse paste to suit your liking. You can also use an immersion blender. Keep this aside.

How to Make Fish Curry

  1. Add 1 tbsp more oil to the same pot you used earlier. Heat it on a low flame.
  2. Add the green chilies and curry leaves when the oil turns slightly hot.
  3. When they start spluttering, add the ground onion tomato paste. Add Alco garam masala too. Taste the paste. You can add more chilli powder at this stage if you want more spicy heat or a deeper color to your fish curry.
  4. Saute till the mixture smells good.
  5. Pour 1-¼ to 1-½ cup water and bring it to a boil. 
  6. Cook until you see traces of oil on the surface. The gravy should be thicker by now.
  7. Gently slide the fish pieces in. Cook them covered on medium heat.
  8. After 3 to 4 mins, gently flip the pieces to the other side.
  9. Cook until the fish pieces start bulging a bit. This indicates that they are cooked completely.
  10. Taste the curry. Add more salt if needed.
  11. Garnish your fish curry with coriander leaves (optional), if desired.

Now, if you find the above cooking steps too daunting or you're in a rush, don't worry. You can make equally (if not more!) delicious fish curry with Alco's Fish Curry Gravy Mix. It gives instant mouthwatering fish curry gravy without you breaking into a sweat working with all the above ingredients.

Besides Alco Fish Curry Gravy Mix, Alco Foods offers a vast range of masalas and instant gravy mixes. Try our products, and your food will turn out to be next-level delicious!


  1. If you prefer a smoother gravy, then blend the paste to a smooth texture. You can add more water as needed. Blend it coarsely for a coarse gravy.
  2. The kind of garam masala to use depends on one's choice of gravy. Use a stronger garam masala like Alco Garam Masala to add that special touch to your fish curry recipe. Also, make sure to adjust the quantity of masala to suit your taste. 


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Can I eat cooked fish every day?
Is fish healthier than chicken?
Which fish is best for curry?