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Goan coconut fish curry

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Seafood and coconut are popular in the region of Goa, a State that sits on the South Western Coast of India. If you ask me, these two ingredients are a match made in heaven! Along with aromatic flavours like garlic, ginger, onions and black pepper, this creamy, delicious and easy to make curry also carries the tang of tamarind and the sweet nutty flavour of coconut. Surprisingly, it is also really easy to make a vegan version of this dish simply by replacing 2 ingredients!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Goan Coconut Fish Curry
Goan Coconut Fish Curry

Preparing a meal in which people quietly feast while licking their fingers, followed by the the comment "I ate too much! That was incredible!" in my mind is the upmost compliment! The Goan coconut fish curry will result in this reaction every, single time.

The sharing of this recipe was inspired by my friend. I have another version of this recipe with shrimp, which she tried with fish and loved, in her words 'it was amazing, like as if we were eating at a restaurant. This inspired me to create a version with fish, and it is absolutely amazing. I cannot think of a better dish for a crisp evening, than tucking in to this Goan fish curry with naan or rice.

Of all the seafood curry's I have made, this definitely one of my favourites! Even as I write this recipe my mouth is watering and I cannot wait to make it again! If you have people coming over or you simply want to make a different, yet comforting and delicious meal at home, this curry is perfect.

Goan Coconut Fish Curry
Goan Coconut Fish Curry

Ingredient spotlight

Coconut butter Whilst you can substitute this ingredient with oil or regular butter, the flavour that's given by using coconut butter is nutty and fragrant, it does make a difference.

Fish I used boneless Haddock during the making of this dish but any fish that you prefer to eat would work, with or without bones.

Tamarind paste This ingredient adds a delicious dimension of flavour to the dish thats earthy and brings the sour element to the dish with a slight hint of sweetness. While there are ways to substitute this flavour, I highly recommend not to, it is widely available in any Indian grocery store.

What can I serve this with?

Traditionally this dish is served with rice, boiled with some salt, but it can also be paired with naan or chapati's (roti). This recipe is designed to cook at a medium spice level but you can add less chilli peppers to reduce the spice levels, or leave them out entirely.

Can I make this recipe Vegan?

Yes, it easily done! All you have to do is replace 2 ingredients;

  1. Replace the fish with your choice of vegetable, or a combination of them. If you are adding cauliflower, broccoli or potatoes I would pre-boil or steam them and then follow the recipe as it is. Peas and potatoes make a great combination for this curry!

  2. Replace the cream with coconut milk (full fat).

Prep time

20 minutes

Cook time

35 minutes

Total time

55 minutes



Heat (Spice level)


Goan coconut fish curry recipe


Gravy mixture

1-3 Kashmiri or any dried chilli peppers (depending on the preferred spice level)

1 tsp ground garlic

1 tsp whole black peppers

1 tsp whole coriander

1 tsp whole cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp tamarind

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

3 tsp salt

Curry Ingredients

3 Tablespoons coconut butter

3/4 cup blended tomatoes (whole canned)

2 medium chopped onions

1 tsp crushed ginger

2 cups chopped mushrooms

3 pieces of fish (I used Haddock)

1 cup half and half cream (more if needed)

1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey


  1. Blend all the Gravy Mixture ingredients in a blender until well blended with no gritty bits left.

  2. Now let's start the curry, add the coconut butter to a pan on medium heat. Once it has melted, add the onions and ginger. Braze until slightly golden brown, stirring often, around 10-12 minutes.

  3. Now add in the blended tomatoes and sizzle further until the oil separates from the tomatoes (around 5 minutes).

  4. Pour in the blended Gravy Mixture and stir. Cover with a lid on top, and continue cooking for an additional 12 minutes, occasionally giving it a stir.

  5. Add in the chopped mushrooms, fish, cream and brown sugar. Stir and simmer until the fish is thoroughly cooked (approximately 5 minutes).

  6. Serve with rice, naan or chapati's. Enjoy!

If you do try this recipe please leave a review or comment! I am positive this curry will not disappoint.


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