Goan Fish Curry


Helloooo, curry. Fish curry, to be precise. I hosted an Indian feast a few weeks ago, and decided Goan fish curry would make a perfect main course (along with a few other dishes that I will share on WP too, in case you want to recreate this dinner party at your house... plz invite me). Unlike most recipes on this blog, this curry takes some dedication and one or two not-so-typical ingredients, but the result is worth the extra trouble.

Goa is known for its fish curry in the same way that Minneapolis is known for Jucy Lucys and San Diego is known for fish tacos—it's THE dish. There are countless styles of curry around India, but this coastal version is unique thanks to the tangy tamarind. It winds up taking on a flavor that's bright and tropical.

Goan Fish Curry

Paleo, Gluten-Free + Whole30-approved

Masala Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste (find this at an Asian grocery store)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 8 dried red chilies (like arbol chilies)
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • optional: 1/2 cup of shredded coconut


  • 2 lbs firm white fish (I used hake loins from Costco, which come in the frozen section)
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped finely
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
  • salt, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste (if your peppers aren't as spicy as you think)
  • Optional: fresh chopped cilantro


First, it's masala-making time. Masala is just "spice mix." You can even do this ahead of time if you want. Put the tamarind, onion, tomatoes, red chilies, garlic, ginger, shredded coconut, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chili powder into a food processor and mix until very smooth.

Marinate the fish for about 8 minutes in lemon juice with a sprinkle of salt. In a large pot (a stockpot is great), fry the masala and chopped jalapeño in coconut oil for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and cayenne to taste. Then add the fish and cook until the fish is cooked, about 4-8 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Serve immediately with cauliflower rice or regular rice or a bunch of vegetables.

Ideas, thoughts and other uses

  • You could easily make this with shrimp or another meat too.
  • I was worried this was going to be too spicy, but it was actually rather mild. Goan curry is traditionally very spicy, so don't be afraid of the chilies. I suggest working your way up though since all chilies are different. As I noted above, have some cayenne on hand if you need to punch it up at the end.

Anyhoo, see you at your dinner party. I'll bring the wine.

P.S. Here's the best Cauliflower Rice you shall ever eat. And this Savory Aloo Fry. And this Keema