This coconut fish curry is a very popular East Indian dish. This Surmai jeera-meera curry is made with kingfish also call sheer in India. The recipe is very simple and gets ready in no time at all. Perfect over steamed rice for lunch or dinner.
Growing up this was one of the fish meals mom made after we came back from school. Coconut fish curry over steamed rice, green beans foogat, pickle, and papad. Absolute heavy especially when you’re hungry after school.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Fish – Surmai (Kingfish) or baby shark fish are the most commonly used but you can use any sliced white water fish as well.
- Coconut – my mom used fresh coconut but I use coconut milk instead.
- Tamarind – has a very unique falvor. While not the same you can use lemon juice or vinegar instead.
- Chilly – I used a sliced fresh green chili and a few dry red chilies for the paste. Soak the dry chilies in warm water to soften the skin otherwise, you won’t have a smooth paste. To make the curry less spicy deseed the chilies after soaking.
- Ginger garlic – always use fresh for best flavor. Do not use garlic powder or ginger powder, please.
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- 2 lbs Kingfish – cut into 6 to 8 pieces Surmai, Seer or sliced white fish
- ½ tsp Pepper
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 cup Coconut milk (or 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut)
- 10 large Dry red chilies soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
- 2 inch Fresh ginger
- 10 large Garlic cloves
- 1½ tbsp Coriander seeds or 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds or ½ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 large Green chilly sliced
- ½ tsp Tamarind paste or golf size ball of fresh tamarind soaked in warm water for 10 minutes.
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Cilantro leaves fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- ½ tsp Salt
- Marinate fish – remove scales and gills, trim the fins and tail. Then, slice the fish into thick slices. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and turmeric powder. Set aside for 10 minutes.2 lbs Kingfish – cut into 6 to 8 pieces, ½ tsp Pepper, ½ tsp Salt, 1 tbsp Lemon juice, ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- Curry paste – In a blender or mixer grinder blend all the curry paste ingredients until smooth.1 cup Coconut milk, 10 large Dry red chilies, 2 inch Fresh ginger, 10 large Garlic cloves, 1½ tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds, ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- Saute – In a skillet over medium heat add the oil and sliced green chili. Add the curry paste and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.1 tbsp Vegetable oil, 1 large Green chilly
- Gravy – add one cup of water and tamarind paste. Add salt. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.½ tsp Tamarind paste, ½ tsp Salt
- Fish – Layer the fish slices in the gravy. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Flip the fish over and cook covered for another 5 minutes.
- Garnish – Add the freshly chopped cilantro/coriander leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning and consistency. If necessary add more water and bring to a boil.1 tbsp Cilantro leaves
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