PetiteNyonya's Fish Curry

    This is my Mom's version of deliciously tangy fish curry that uses a mixed of Indian spices, condiments and fish curry powder. My Mom would always prepare this wonderful homey curry of hers with either golden snapper (ikan jenak/jenahak) or mackerel (ikan tenggiri) that were freshly hauled in from the Straits of Melaka. This curry also has ladies' fingers, brinjals and tomatoes cooked to soft perfection. I would love to flood my plate of rice with this curry before I dig in. Keep any leftover and reheat it the next day to go with bread.


    Melaka, Malaysia
    4 people made this


    • 1/4 cup cooking oil
    • 1 tbsp of Indian spice mix (mix of fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds & mustard seeds)
    • 2 star anise
    • 4-5 cloves
    • an inch-long cinnamon stick
    • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
    • 5 tbsps fish curry powder + 2 tsps optional chilli powder (mix with 3 or 4 tbsp water to form a thick paste)
    • some curry leaves (optional)
    • 2 tbsps tamarind paste (rub well with 1 cup water to get the juice, discard the seeds)
    • 5 cups water
    • 5 ladies' fingers/okra (cut into 1.5 long pieces)
    • 2 round or long brinjals/eggplant (slice lengthwise in half then cut into 1.5 inch long pieces)
    • 2 large tomatoes (quartered)
    • 4 or 5 cut slices snapper or mackerel (or stingray)


    1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan under small fire. When hot, saute together the spices, garlic and onion for until fragrant before adding in the curry paste and curry leaves.
    2. Saute everything for another 2 minutes or until the curry paste is fragrant but not over-burnt. Then, transfer the paste to a pot large enough for cooking the curry.
    3. Pour the tamarind juice and cups of water into the paste in the pot. Let it come to a simmer for a while, and then taste it. It should be slightly tangy.
    4. Add in all the vegetables and let it simmer until all the vegetables are cooked to soft perfection.
    5. If the gravy is too tangy, add in a little bit of water. If it's not, add in a little bit of tamarind juice. It's really up to your personal preference.
    6. Lastly, add in the fish slices and enough salt to taste, let it come to a boil for a few minutes until the fish is cooked. Serve hot with a plate of rice.

    See it on my blog

    Check out this recipe from Petite Nyonya's blog

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