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Cochin Jewish

Fish Curry With Cilantro and Coconut

Fish Curry With Cilantro and Coconut

This is a relatively simple version of a fish curry once popular among the Cochin Jews. Other versions contain tomatoes, tamarind paste, coconut milk and ginger. Without those ingredients this is less a curry and more an herbed fish. In any case, it's very tasty.

Fish Curry With Cilantro and Coconut


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 2 lbs firm white fish fillets


Put the coconut, cilantro, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper and 3/4 cup of water in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process into a paste. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a saute pan or similar over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until golden. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Stir in the coconut paste and 3/4 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes, until the paste thickens. Add the fish and 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Once again bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to low and simmer, parcially covered, until the fish is cooked through, 10 to 13 minutes depending on thickness. Serve.

Adapted from Maya Kaimal's recipe in Savoring the Spice Coast of India: Fresh Flavors from Kerala as adapted by Dewi at Elra's Cooking blog.

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