Fish Masala by Mom De Cuisine

My husband and I have been married just over five years and we are now approaching our fourth move together. Whether it’s to another state or another country, as soon as we have a date scheduled for the movers to come pack up our stuff, my husband becomes fanatical about cleaning out the pantry and the refrigerator. Every grocery trip, he reminds me a few thousand times, “We are only buying the necessities, Alyssa. We only have _____ days left.” (Last I checked milk was a necessity, honey.)

Curries and masalas are very common here and this fish masala is one of my favorite dishes at a near by restaurant. And wouldn’t you know, when I started doing a little research into what goes into this dish, I had all of the ingredients on hand. I thought making this was a bit like Nelu’s Biryiani, in that it seemed like a complicated recipe, but once I got going, building the layers of flavor was relatively easy. I would, however, suggest having all of the ingredients prepped before starting as making the sauce goes by quickly.

This masala was definitely a winner in our house. And it actually came together quick and easy enough that it made for a great weeknight dinner!

Fish Masala Recipe

Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 30 mins
Total time 40 mins
Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup-1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 4 large garlic cloves diced
  • 1 to 4 (2-inch) fresh hot green chiles such as Thai or serrano, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mildly hot red Indian chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • /2 teaspoon curry powder
  • About 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 4 medium ones),
  • 1-1.5 lbs firm white fish such as hammour or talapia
  • Salt and pepper
  • fresh dill for garnishing the fish
  • Cooked white rice to serve

Fish Masala


Heat the oil over medium high heat in a wok. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the fish and sear in the wok. Remove the fish once browned on both sides and set aside.
Add the mustard and coriander seeds to the oil and sauté until they pop, about 20 seconds. Add the onion and green chilies and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add the Chile powder, ground ginger, curry powder and turmeric. Cook 1 minute and then add in the tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes longer, or until the tomatoes start to break down. Add about 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Puree the sauce with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the desired amount of coconut milk (the more you add, the less spicy the sauce will be).
Cut the seared fish into 1 inch pieces and return to the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer until the fish cooks through and the sauce reduces by 1/3, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot with white rice and garnish with fresh dill.

The written and photographic in this article are reference and redaction from and Recipe adapted from Fish Masala at Epicurious