Kerala-Style Fish, made with a flavorful paste that is either grilled or roasted in the oven. Curry leaves and Tamarind Paste give this Indian Recipe its unique flavor. Serve this with Indian Lemon Rice and Raita!
1 – 1 1/2 pounds white fish (black cod, sea bass, halibut, mahi-mahi, escolar, ono, wild cod, haddock, etc.) whole filet or pieces (thicker cuts are better here)
- 2 shallots, sliced ( 1/3 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 12 curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or ghee)
- 1 tablespoon tamarind water (or lime juice)
- Preheat oven to 375F. (see notes for grilling)
- Pat dry fish, remove any bones, and place on a greased or parchment-lined sheet pan
- Make the paste: Place all the paste ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, pulse again, and repeat, until it becomes a cohesive, thick, paste. It doesn’t need to be smooth. To make tamarind water mix 1 teaspoon tamarind paste with 2 teaspoons water ( just add both to processor)
- Brush the Kerala Paste on the tops and sides of fish.
- Bake until cooked through (12-18 minutes depending on thickness), then broil for a couple of minutes if you like, to get the top golden.
- Optional: In a skillet, sizzle a few fresh curry leaves in ghee for 20-30 seconds until crisp, and spoon over the fish for a pretty garnish.
- Place on a banana leaf if you like and serve with lime wedges, Indian Lemon Rice or Basmati Rice and Raita.
If using very thin fish like tilapia or similar, I recommend pan-searing it on the stovetop in a little oil, so you can “cook the paste” without overcooking the fish.
GRILLED: Feel free to grill the fish ( if it is a fish that will hold together). Grill over medium heat. If grilling a whole filet, lay it down skin-side down on a well-greased grate ( marinade side up). Cover, and cook through until flesh is flaky (test with a fork) 9-15 minutes- time will vary depending on thickness. Using two big metal spatulas place on a platter. If grilling individual, skinless portions, brush both sides with marinade and cook each side 3-5 minutes or until cooked through and flakey.
I’ve also used this flavorful Kerala Paste on chicken before grilling or pan-searing, and on tofu, before baking. Super tasty.
The Curry leaves really elevate the dish (in my humble opinion). Yes, I know they are harder to find. When you do find them, buy extra to freeze so you have them on hand. 😉
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