Simple Fish Curry

Fish curry may seem daunting for some to make, but my methods make it simpler and easier than even meat curries! There are only a few ingredients, a basic process, and you’re left with a delicious fish curry ready to enjoy with fluffy white rice.

Tilapia Fish Curry

The Fish

My go-to curry recipe can be made with any fish! The easiest one to use is a good quality tilapia fillets. I’ve also made it with cod, mahi mahi, and even whole small fish like smelt! To make the process simpler I either used fillets or for small fish, ones that have already been prepped and cleaned. For fillets, you can leave them whole but it is easier to eat them if they’re cut into smaller chunks or even bite size pieces before cooking.

Small Fish Curry Using Smelt Fish

The Curry

To make the fish curry, start by making the curry base. In regular curries this usually consists of onion, garlic, ginger, whole spices, and ground spice powders. However, fish curries are much simpler! Just saute onions with salt in a neutral oil on medium low heat until golden brown. Then add in two spices: turmeric and red chili powder.

Toast the spices on medium heat for a couple of minutes to remove any raw spice flavors and add a depth to the flavor.

Now add in the prepped fish (cleaned and cut). Mix the fish into the spices until fully coated.

Fish in Spices

Add juuuuust enough water to cover the fish and bring it up to a boil. then turn the heat down to low to simmer gently and cover. After 15 minutes the fish will be cooked through and the curry is ready!

Garnish (seriously, do not skip the step) with fresh cilantro. If you want to add a little more heat, add a sliced thai chili pepper. Enjoy hot with a side of fluffy cooked rice.

Tilapia Fish Curry


  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, like grape seed
  • 4 good quality tilapia fillets, cut to equal sized chunks or any clean prepped fish
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp salt—or to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Optional thai red chili pepper, sliced


1. Add oil and onions to a pot on medium low heat

2. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until golden brown—about 30 minutes

3. Add turmeric and red chili powder. Mix and cook for a couple of minutes to toast the spices

4. Add fish and mix well. Top with water until just covered. Turn up heat and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer gently for 15 minutes

5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a Thai chili pepper. Serve with rice and enjoy!

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