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Sri Lankan Fish Curry


  • 4 x 225g/8oz salmon steaks

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 8 fresh curry leaves

  • 2 small pieces rampe (screwpine), optional

  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 2 tbsp Sri Lankan curry powder (see below)

  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, skinned and chopped

  • 50ml/2fl oz tamarind liquid

  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk

  • salt

  • Asian-style chutneys such as mango, lime, aubergine or tamarind to serve

  • For the Sri Lankan curry powder

  • 2 ½ tbsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tbsp cumin seed

  • 1½ tsp fennel seeds

  • a pinch of fenugreek seed

  • 2.5cm/1in piece cinnamon stick

  • 3 cloves

  • 2 green cardamom pods

  • 6 black peppercorns


  • 1.

    For the Sri Lankan curry powder, simply grind everything together in a spice grinder into a fine powder. Store in a screw top jar.

  • 2.

    Rinse the fish steaks under cold water and dry on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan, add the onion, garlic, curry leaves and 'rampe' if using and fry gently for 7-10 minutes until the onions are soft and lightly golden.

  • 3.

    Add the turmeric, chilli powder and 2 tbsp of the Sri Lankan curry powder and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tamarind liquid, coconut milk and 1 tsp of salt and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

  • 4.

    Add the salmon steaks to the pan and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the fish. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, then cover the pan and set aside for 30 minutes. By this time the fish should be cooked through - but if not, just return to the heat for a few more minutes until it is. Serve with some steamed basmati rice.

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4 comments • 14 ratings
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Posted by Report
This has to be my favourite meal of all time! Excellent!
Posted by Neil69Report
This I'll give a go ...sounds good and not difficult but I'll use a different fish that I can generally catch locally like flathead , squire, bream or any any combination to fill the pan ....yes sounds very tasty.... thankyou Rick
Posted by SHEILA71Report
I have cooked many curries but can say that this was an excellent recipe - had my doubts about using Salmon but everyone loved it. Will definitely cook this again.
Posted by Report
i don't have fish to cook anyone please sponsor me