When making a fish curry always use a firm-fleshed fish such as tuna, trevally or mackerel as I’ve used here. A white fish curry like this one is highly spiced but not too hot like a black curry. As a child in Sri Lanka, I progressed from no-heat kiri-hodi (coconut milk gravy) and dahl to this white Mustard Fish Curry as my enjoyment of spice and heat grew

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Marinate: 10 min | Cooking Time: 15 mins | Skill: Easy



50g ginger paste

30g garlic paste

3 tsp raw curry powder

Lime juice (1 lime)



500 g Spanish mackerel fillet

1 small white onion, chopped

100gms tomato, chopped

30gms garlic, chopped

2 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp black pepper corns cracked in a mortar and pestle

½ stalk of lemongrass, thinly sliced

2 sprig of curry leaves

1.5 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp raw curry powder

5 green chili, finely chopped

50 ml coconut oil

500ml  coconut milk

½ tsp dill seeds

½ stick cinnamon broken up



Marinate the fish for 10 mins with ginger paste, garlic paste, curry powder, lime juice and salt while you make the curry.

Add vegetable oil to a pan on medium heat, followed by mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Once the mustard seeds start to crack add the onion, garlic, lemongrass and green chili and sauté for a few minutes. Add red chili powder, curry powder, turmeric powder and salt before adding the fish.

Quickly seal the fish and add coconut milk.

Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 5-minutes.

Remove from the heat and garnish with fried curry leaves.

The curry can be served with hot rice, sambal and poppadum.