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Monkfish curry in a turquoise bowl

Delicious Monkfish Curry

The coconut and all the spices used in this beautiful and fragrant monkfish curry enhance the meaty monkfish. The recipe will work very well with other white fish such as pollock, hake, halibut or cod too.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine Asian, Sri Lankan
Keyword best fish curry recipe, fish curry, healthy curry, monkfish curry, Sri Lankan fish curry
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 259kcal
Cost £15


  • large pan
  • glass bowl
  • chopping board
  • knife
  • grater
  • wooden spoon


  • 800 g monkfish deboned and skinned *
  • 400 ml coconut milk I used light coconut milk - 1 can (tin)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder or fresh root finely grated
  • 2 pieces tamarind dried garcinia Cambogia aka  Malabar tamarind or brindle berry *
  • 2 cloves garlic extra large
  • 1 tablespoon ginger freshly grated
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander Washed and chopped
  • lime juice and rind
  • mixed seeds * see notes for details
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil optional


  • Into a glass bowl, place the monkfish and marinate with turmeric, some lime zest and lime juice, salt, pepper and 1 clove or two of garlic grated or made into a paste. Mix well to coat the fish and place in the fridge for 20 min to 2 hours to marinate. The longer the better.
  • Add the olive oil to a larger pan over medium-high heat and add the chopped onions, the seeds, cardamom, curry leaves, curry powder, the remaining garlic, ginger, chillies, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes until the onion has softened and slightly coloured. I add some water as I do not like to fry it. I like the frying but just doesn't agree with us so I avoid it. It is healthier.
  • Stir in the roughly chopped tomatoes, tamarind paste and coconut milk; season, then bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for approximately 10-15 minutes, uncovered stirring occasionally.
  • Add the monkfish and the marinade to the curry sauce and simmer over low heat for 6-8 minutes (depending on how chunky your fish is). Cook until the fish is cooked through and becomes opaque.
  • Remove the cardamom pods. Taste and season to perfection.
  • Serve on steamed basmati or jasmine rice. Scatter some chopped coriander leaves. 


A few tips:

  • mixed seeds - my regular mix for any curry is: 
    • fenugreek, cumin and black mustard seeds;
  • tomatoes - if you do not have fresh tomatoes (which I prefer) use tinned chopped Italian tomatoes or tomato paste if you want your curry less juicy; 
  • Tamarind - tamarind paste can also be used 
Once you have added the fish, do not mix your curry with a spoon any longer so the fish remains nice and chunky and it will not break; 


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 715mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 3mg