Sri Lankan Fish Curry Recipe

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe on the blog. It’s not because I haven’t been cooking ( I cook almost everyday) I think it’s just because I’ve been lazy and most of the stuff I’ve made is quite pedestrian and mostly diet friendly. On a recent trip to Sri Lanka, courtesy Cinnamon Hotels,  I had the pleasure meet the one and only Chef Marco Pierre White ( more about that soon ) I got to explore this beautiful country and went a little nuts over their food. During this trip I got a chance to devour a gorgeous local fish curry and the chef at my hotel was kind enough to walk me through the entire process of how to cook it.

image1 (5)

image4 (2)

image7 (2)

If you’ve been following my social media updates you know that my family and I are obsessed with curry! I bought a traditional clay pot from Sri Lanka along with my spices just so I could replicate this dish. If you’re an Indian the flavours and ingredients might seem similar but the end product is definitely different. I find that Sri Lankan’s use plenty of curry leaves and this recipe is slightly different from a traditional curry so I hope you enjoy this recipe and happy cooking!

IMG_0160

Ingredients –

For the Marinade –

1 kilo (2 lbs.) fish or your choice like halibut or Pomfret.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cardamom  powder

1 teaspoon clove powder

1½ teaspoons cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon chilli powder (more or less to taste)

1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)

1 tablespoon dried red chilli flakes

1 tablespoon corriander powder

Juice of two limes

A handful of green chillies

1 teaspoon Sri Lankan curry powder

For the  Curry

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 red onion – roughly chopped

6 cloves garlic – roughly chopped

1 thumb sized piece of ginger – finely sliced

2 tablespoon of finely chopped lemongrass

3 green chillies – roughly chopped (more or less to taste)

2 tomatoes – roughly chopped

1 teaspoon Sri Lankan curry powder

2 tablespoons of roughly chopped pandan leaves

15 fresh curry leaves

1 teaspoon turmeric

About 500 ml of coconut milk but you can use a tin or two small tetra packs.

Juice of two or more limes

Salt and pepper to taste

IMG_0081

Method –

First things first, start by marinating the fish. Add oil, salt, black pepper, chili powder, turmeric, cardamom and clove powder, cinnamon powder, lime and Sri Lankan curry powder. Let it marinate for a minimum of 45 mins but its best to let it marinate overnight.

IMG_0077

IMG_0087

IMG_0098

Heat the oil in a pan and once it’s hot saute the onions, garlic, green chilli, curry leaves, pandan leaves, salt lemon grass and ginger. Once it’s cooked for a while say 10 minutes ( you will see the onions turn translucent) then add the tomato.

IMG_0100

IMG_0102

Once the tomatoes have cooked, turn down the heat and add the coconut milk. Let it simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

IMG_0105

Cut the fish into smaller  cubes and place them on skewers in a baking pan. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the fish and in the baking pan. You could garnish it further with chopped red onions or more green chillies.

IMG_0125

IMG_0140

Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees c and then bake the fish for approx 10 – 15 mins till the fish is cooked.

IMG_0149

Serve with streamed rice or even a side salad if you like.

Now there are two ways to cook this, The recipe above is how the chef cooked it but if you want to go the traditional way then add the fish in the pan and cook it for ten minutes before adding the coconut milk.

Disclaimer : This recipe was given to me by Executive Chef Julinda Pushpakumara at Hikka Tranz a gorgeous hotel in Hikkaduwa which is part of Cinnamon Hotels and I can’t thank him enough for his recipe!