Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy Fish Curry- Malay Style

Fish Curry

Our family members eat almost any type of fish dishes but we are extremely fond of something extra spicy. 

This Fish Curry ( Kari Ikan ) is one of the Malay families favorite fish dish which are commonly served during dinner or big feast such as weddings that are usually held at home.

 Tenggiri fish also known as mackerel fish is chosen because these fish meat could easily absorb the curry flavor and mackerel fish does not contain much bones either. 
You could request the fish monger to cut a whole large and long mackerel fish into 5-6 sections. Majority Malays love mackerel fish as it has lots of meaty flesh, easy to cook, either deep fried or curries and the price is reasonably cheap.

We dislike eating fish with too many bones to remove, irritates our joyful mood. Sometimes, fish bones poked into our gums or the side wall of the inner mouth, causing light bleeding and mouth ulcers on the next day. 

Ingredient to Substitute

Just in case you couldn’t buy any fresh desiccated coconut, buy 2 packets of coconut cream powder or pre-packed coconut milk. Follow the instructions at the back of the coconut cream powder packet on how to mix thick and thin coconut milk. 

Coconut cream powder may taste a little bland compare to pre-packed coconut milk that taste almost similar to fresh ones. 

Why I love Fish Curry?

Do not mistake that only the Indians / Tamils / Hindus are professional in curry dishes. Believe me or not, the Malays have a hand in mixing thick coconut milk with curry powder too.

 I loved this Fish Curry dish as the thick coconut flavored curry sauce was mild spicy, the ladies fingers were well cooked, soft, delicate and easily to chew on. My kids even used sliced French loaves to dip into the left-over curry sauce for snacks! Once you get the hang of curries, you will ask for more in your next meal. 

Here is the Fish Curry recipe I would like to share with you with the easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

Ingredients photo Guide

Garlic and sliced shallots

Tamarind Juice

Mackerel fish that have been cut into big portions

Curry leaves

Coconut Cream Powder


4 pieces of tenggiri fish ( mackerel sliced thickly)
2 tomatoes- quartered
5 ladies fingers
4 shallots- sliced
2 green chillies
2 tablespoon fish curry powder – blended with 2 tablespoon of warm water
2 cups thick coconut milk – extracted from 1 coconut
4 cups thin coconut milk – extracted from the same coconut
½ cup tamarind juice – mix 1 tablespoon tamarind paste with ½ cup water
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste


  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in the wok.
  • Fry the shallots and garlic until fragrant.
  • Turn the heat low.
  • Add in the blended curry powder and stir until fragrant without letting it burn.
  • Add in the curry leaves.
  • Add the thin coconut milk and bring to boil.
  • Add the tomatoes, ladies fingers and tamarind juice.
  • Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Put in one fish at a time and bring to boil again.
  • Add the thick coconut milk and as soon as it boils, switch off the heat.
  • Serve hot with plain rice.

If you would like to try sweet and sour sauce recipe, click to this link for Sweet and Sour Fish Recipe


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