Madras fish curry of snapper, tomato and tamarind

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4-6

Oily fish goes well with curry, particularly with the flavours of tomatoes, tamarind and curry leaves.

By Rick Stein

From Rick Stein's India


  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely crushed
  • 30 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml/3½fl oz tamarind liquid
  • 2 green chillies, each sliced lengthways into 6 pieces, with seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 700g/1lb 9oz snapper fillets, cut into 5cm/2in chunks
  • boiled basmati rice, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds, then stir in the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden-brown.

  2. Add the curry leaves, chilli powder, coriander and turmeric and fry for two minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, tamarind liquid, green chillies and salt and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until rich and reduced. Add the fish, cook for a further five minutes or until just cooked through, and serve with plain rice.

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