Fiery Fish Curry in Coconut Gravy

By Amal (@thunapahadiaries)

Cinnamon Tree Organics Fish Curry

Growing up on an island like Sri Lanka meant having fish curry almost daily. In this recipe, I try to capture the essence of a good Sri Lankan fish curry: pieces of well-cooked fish submerged in a thick coconut gravy, packed with flavor stemming from delightful Sri Lankan spices. Absolutely divine!


  • 1lb Ahi Tuna (or any other firm fish), cut into 1.5-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp roasted ground cayenne
  • 2 tsp Sri Lankan roasted curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • Sprig of curry leaves*
  • 3-inch piece of pandan leaf*
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Thai green chili, sliced lengthwise
  • 2-inch Ceylon cinnamon stick 
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk

How to make fish curry

  • In a bowl, mix the fish with the roasted ground cayenne, roasted curry powder, turmeric, and salt. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan.
  • Add the curry leaves and pandan leaf and fry for a 1 minute.
  • Next add the onion, ginger, garlic, Thai green chili and cinnamon stick. Mix well and fry until the onions are translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato purée and mix well. Cook for another minute.
  • Add the fish and mix to coat. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the thick coconut milk, mix to combine, and cook until fish is cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
  • Taste and adjust salt if required. Remove the pan from heat.

*Curry leaves and pandan leaves are used in almost every Sri Lankan curry dish as a flavor base. You may be able to buy fresh, frozen or dried leaves from your local Indian or Asian grocery store. Check the produce or freezer sections.

This fish curry is creamy and comforting, and best served over a bowl of steaming fresh rice, freshly baked naan, or toasted bread on the side. In a typical Sri Lankan meal, we also combine a fish curry like this with dhal curry and a vegetable like this beet curry served with plain white or red rice. You can also try this aromatic turmeric rice for a special treat.

Did you make this recipe? Will you make it again? Please tell us in the comments below.

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Hi! My name is Amal. I work in academia, where I teach and research in the area of corporate finance. While doing my PhD I picked up baking as a stress reliever. Little did I know that it would become such a big part of my life! I love sharing whatever I have learned about baking with others. I also believe baking is something that can be done by everyone and I love helping people find joy in baking. After all, nothing can be compared to eating some baked goods that came right out of your own oven!

1 comment

  • Twins_platter


    Your content looks amazing.. I love using authentic Sri lanken herbs on my dishes. I’m a twin and a new member to the Instagram food blogging industry! @twins_platter

    Will definitely try out your recipes and tag you on my post! Thanks for sharing recipes! ☺️


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