Sri Lankan Spicy Fish Curry

Sri Lanka is truly a seafood lover’s paradise as no place on the island is more than 130 kilometres from the sea. Locals over the years have mastered the art of preparing the fresh, abundant fare the ocean provides. Fish curries vary across the island, from the traditional, claypot cooked fish in the south, balanced by the fiery red curries in the north.


  • 1 kg of firm fish (spanish mackerel, trevally, tuna, shark)
  • 2 long green chillies thinly sliced on angle
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tblsp minced ginger
  • 1 brown onions finely chopped
  • 4 plum tomatoes skinned & diced
  • 1 cup first extract coconut milk
  • 12 curry leaves
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 handful of chopped coriander


Fry your pieces of fish, skin side down in a fry pan until golden brown. Put aside for oil to drain.  Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir until they start to pop, then add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook the mixture until the onions start to caramelise. Add the chilli and curry leaves and cook for a few more minutes. Add the coconut milk and salt and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring well. Add the fried pieces of fish to the curry and cook for a further 3-4 minutes making sure to shake the cooking pot instead of stirring.  Add the coriander to the mixture and serve.