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  • Writer's pictureheutemalindisch

Goa fish curry - Goa style fish curry

Goa Fish Curry is a warm and spicy fish curry full of Indian coastal flavors. Prepared from simple ingredients, it is ready in less than 20 minutes.

Goa, a coastal state in India, is popular for its fabulous beaches, tropical climate and fantastic food. It is the smallest state in India, but is slowly becoming popular around the world for its unique cuisine, and specifically for its use of simple ingredients and robust flavors.

Just like Pork Vindaloo, another popular curry from Goa, this curry also has a slight spicy note, but the note in this recipe comes from using tamarind paste rather than vinegar. However, you can use vinegar instead of tamarind if you don't have tamarind paste on hand.

I got this recipe from the chef of the beautiful resort where in 2009 my husband and I spent an unforgettable vacation in Goa.

Serve this spicy fish curry from Goa with some hot steamed rice to tantalize your palate. Trust me, this curry is unique and you will definitely love it as it is bursting with flavors.

Ingredients for my Goa Fish Curry

To marinate the fish:

Fish - You can use any firm white fish of your choice to make this Goan curry. I used pollock, but you can choose from salmon, cod or tilapia.

Marinate the fish with salt, turmeric powder and lime juice. Use freshly squeezed lime juice for the best flavor.

To prepare the masala paste:

This fish curry uses a freshly ground masala paste that adds a unique and refreshing flavor.

For this, you'll need whole spices like black peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves.

You'll also need cumin seeds, whole coriander seeds, grated fresh coconut, dry red Kashmiri chilies and garlic to make the paste.

I prefer to use dried red Kashmiri chilies because they add a fantastic bright red color to the curry without making the curry too spicy. You can use any dry red chili you have on hand. If you want a milder curry, you can reduce dry chilies and remove their seeds.

You can either grate the fresh coconut at home or buy it in the frozen section of an Indian grocery store. You can substitute fresh coconut with unsweetened grated coconut. However, you will then need more water to prepare the paste.

Garlic is a must as it imparts a distinctive flavor that is hard to miss. I often peel and refrigerate the garlic cloves in a glass jar for about 5-6 days so I always have it available and save myself the time of peeling.

For the Curry:

Vegetable oil - Use any cooking oil such as sunflower oil, canola oil or light olive oil.

Green chilies - Adjust the green chilies to your taste.

Tamarind paste - Tamarind pulp adds a nice heat to this curry. If it's not on hand or available, you could use lime juice or white vinegar instead.

Chili powder - You can substitute red Kashmiri chili powder for cayenne pepper powder.

Coconut milk - I used tetra pack coconut milk, but you can also use canned milk or freshly made milk. Cream of coconut also works well.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve homemade Goa fish curry with hot steamed rice for an incredible Goa treat.

  • You can also serve a burger bun similar to the traditional Goa bread, poi or pav, along with this fish curry.

Storage suggestions

  • This delicious fish curry can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

  • Reheat in the microwave or in a pan over the stove.

  • Just add a little water if the curry has thickened after cooling.


To marinate the fish

  • 1 pound of fish (I used pollock).

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

To prepare the ground masala paste

  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds

  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds

  • 1 cup grated fresh coconut

  • 6-8 whole dried red Kashmiri chilies, stems removed

  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled

  • ½ tsp. black peppercorns

  • 3-4 cloves

  • 2.5 cm cinnamon stick

  • ¾ cup water

To prepare the curry

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 tomato, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp red Kashmiri chili powder

  • 2 tsp. tamarind paste

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2 ½ cups water

  • 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

  • 1 tbsp. coriander greens, chopped


Marinate the fish:

Wash the fish with water. Drain well and place in a medium mixing bowl along with salt, turmeric powder and lime juice. Mix well to coat the fish.

Set the bowl aside for 15 minutes.

Prepare the ground goan masala paste:

Place coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fresh coconut, dried red Kashmiri chilies, garlic, black peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick in a high-speed blender along with ¾ cup of water and blend to a smooth paste.

Prepare the curry:

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated fish to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Take the fried fish to a plate and set aside.

Add green chilies to the remaining oil and fry for 3-4 seconds. Then add onion and fry for about 2-3 minutes until they turn translucent.

Then add tomatoes and red Kashmiri chili powder to the pan and fry for 1-2 minutes until tomatoes are slightly mushy. Mash the tomatoes with the back of a ladle while cooking.

Now add the ground masala paste we made earlier to the pan along with 1 cup of water and tamarind paste and mix well.

Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 6-8 minutes until the oil starts separating from the sides of the pan.

Add coconut milk and 1 ½ cups of water and mix well.

Carefully add the cooked fish, season with salt and bring the curry to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and let everything simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves .

Serve hot Goa Fish Curry with steamed rice.


  • You can use any firm white fish of your choice to make this goan curry. I used diced pollock but you can choose, haddock, cod or tilapia.

  • To reduce the spiciness of the curry, you can reduce the amount of red chilies accordingly.

  • Tamarind paste adds a nice heat to this curry. If it's not available, you can use lime juice or vinegar instead.

  • I used tetra pack coconut milk, but you can also use canned milk or freshly prepared milk.

  • You can substitute unsweetened shredded coconut for fresh coconut. However, you will need more water to make the paste.

I look forward to hearing from you...

...if you like my blog, my recipes inspire you and your curiosity for Indian cuisine has been piqued.

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