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Fish Masala

  • Serves 4 - 6
  • Easy

According to my mother-in-law, every household would cook fish this way using desiccated coconut since coconut was readily available.


How old were you when you started cooking? I started learning cooking from my mom when I was 12 years old.

Personal wish related to cooking: I wish that I would become a domestic goddess like Nigella Lawson and have my own cooking channel or cooking school.

Louise , Cooking Blogger, Full-Time Working Mom


  • 1kg firm-flesh fish, cut into bite-size

    ½ cup oil

    1 sprig curry leaves

  • Masala Paste Blend:

    1 grated coconut (500g)

    3 tbs black peppercorns

    1 ½ tbs cumin seeds

    3 tbs fennel seeds

    4 ½ tbs chilli powder

    ½ tsp turmeric powder

    2 cloves garlic

    1-inch ginger

    2 ½ tsp salt or to taste

    3 cups water


    1. Blend the ingredients for Masala Paste in a grinder till smooth.
    2. Marinate the fish with the masala paste, making sure that all the pieces are well coated. Set aside for half an hour.
    3. Heat oil in a flat pan.
    4. Add curry leaves. This is to fragrant the oil.
    5. Take out the fish from the masala paste. Set aside the masala paste.
    6. Fry the fish in the pan for about 5 minutes on each side till golden brown.
    7. Transfer the fish to a serving tray.
    8. Sieve the oil in the pan through a strainer to remove the charred coconut bits.
    9. Add the oil back to the pan, adding more if needed.
    10. Add the masala paste and fry until it changes colour and is fragrant, stirring continuously. This would take around 30 minutes.
    11. Spoon the masala paste over the fried fish.
    12. Serve with rice.