Fish Curry

Fish Curry (Kari Ikan)
I have so many memories involving fish curry. My earliest was of my mom teaching me how to eat it with white bread; tearing it up piece by piece and dipping it in the curry. All that bread soaked up all that sour goodness. I still find it a great source of comfort and on bad days I sometimes whip up a batch of fish curry and start my therapeutic dipping. It’s very basic but still very good.

Fast forward a few years to my young adult life where I enjoyed the perks of being independent and the inherent legacy that came with it (aka being broke), sometimes my dinner would consist of stopping by an Indian restaurant, paying for some of their fish curry and taking it home with a loaf of white bread. Though it sounds kinda sad, it worked for me!

Fish Curry (Kari Ikan)

My mom and I make fish curry with fish curry powder since it’s so easy to get with our favorite brand being Baba’s fish curry powder. One of these days, I’ll break down the individual spices needed to make it but for now, we’ll use this cheat. You can find a packet of these from any local Indian grocery stores, if not the brand I mentioned then some others. They usually label them as ‘fish masala’.

Fish Curry (Kari Ikan)

While most fish curries are made with a whole fish or a fish head, I use fish fillets in this recipe and break them apart specifically to be eaten with Indian flatbreads (Roti Canai, Roti Paratha) or Indian fermented crepes (Dosa). You can buy frozen versions of these from any local Indian grocery store and it’s a pretty simple matter of heating them up in a non-stick pan for a quick dinner.

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Fish Curry

  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 2 fish fillets of your choice
  • 4 okras, ends trimmed (optional)
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fish curry powder mixed with 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup tamarind juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt to taste


  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds


  1. Over medium high heat, saute spice mix until they begin to crackle
  2. Add in shallot and garlic and saute until fragrant
  3. Pour in the fish curry mixture and stir, simmering for 1 minute
  4. Add in tamarind juice and turmeric, stirring to mix before adding in the fish fillets
  5. Season with salt to taste and bring to a boil
  6. Break apart the fish fillets into flakes to thicken the curry
  7. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes until the curry thickens
  8. Add in okras if used and simmer until they turn bright green
  9. Dish and serve hot

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  • Reply
    Mega Sardines
    February 6, 2015 at 3:42 AM

    Sounds interesting, I wanted to try this fish curry. I wonder if its spicy?

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