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  • Writer's picture Payal M.

20th post! Mum's Classic Coconut Fish Curry

Today is very special! It is my 20th blog post which means I achieved my goal of writing 20 posts in my first month of blogging! Woot woot! I follow and admire so many food bloggers and I cannot believe that I finally have been able to start a blog of my own. I feel very grateful and humbled. I feel especially grateful for my mum and her willingness to work with me on this project. So thank you mum!

For today's post, I wanted to write about a special dish. Mum's Classic Coconut Fish Curry. What can I say about this dish. It has all the right elements. Flaky and moist white fish simmered in coconut milk, curry and warm spices. Need I say more? It is both elegant and comforting at the same time. Best part is that this dish does not take forever to put together! And of course, mum prefers coconut fish curry over regular fish curry (recipe forthcoming) because it is creamy and lighter in spices. This is a dish I used to love to eat growing up as well. We were lucky to have lots of seafood and coconuts around and coconut fish curry is a good example of what island life had to offer. It combines the best of both worlds.

I remember enjoying cod quite a bit when I was young. Of course at the time, I did not know there were many kinds of cod so I am not sure which type we ate back home. Today's recipe also uses cod. Wild Alaskan Cod fillets to be exact. To start, make sure that fish is thawed and washed. Then cook mustard seeds, cumin seeds, onions, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and chilis if using. Add turmeric and garam masala and cook until aromatic. Then add the fish pieces, coat in the spices and cook for about five minutes to get some browning on the fish pieces.

Add in water, coconut milk and lemon juice. Add salt. Bring to boil for about 5 minutes. Then reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro and add in more for garnish. And the dish is done! Entire recipe takes less than 30 minutes but will taste like it has been cooking away for hours. Serve hot over rice or with rotis or pooris.

This is great recipe to try for everyday comfort but also impressive enough for guests! Try Mum's Classic Coconut Fish Curry today! Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

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Serves 3

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes


3 wild Alaskan cod fillets*

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup diced onions

2 tbsp crushed garlic

2 tbsp crushed ginger

4 red Thai chilis (optional)

Handful of curry leaves (optional)

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp garam masala

1 cup coconut milk**

2 cups water

2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt to taste


  1. Prep fish. Thaw and wash.

  2. Heat up oil on medium heat and add mustard and cumin seeds. Once they sputter, add onions. Once edges brown add garlic, ginger, curry leaves and chilis if using. Cook until aromatic. About 1-2 minutes.

  3. Add turmeric and masala. Cook until aromatic. About 1 minute.

  4. Add fish pieces and gently coat fish with masala mix. Cook for about five minutes to brown the fish a bit.

  5. Add coconut milk, water and lemon juice. Add salt. Bring to boil.

  6. After 5 minutes, reduce heat and simmer for another five minutes to ensure complete cooking of the fish.

  7. Stir in cilantro and add more on top for garnish.

  8. Serve hot with rice or flatbreads like rotis and pooris.


*We used the fish fillets as is but you can slice them in half for this recipe. Any other type of fish can be substituted. Cooking times will vary.

**We use full-fat coconut milk not cream. Can be found in ethnic food aisles typically.


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