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White Fish Curry Recipe

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White fish curry with halibut

This white fish curry can be made with any meaty fish but I prefer halibut.


This white fish curry recipe could be made with any meaty white fish such as haddock, cod or coley. Here I have used halibut which is my favourite but a bit on the expensive side.

Halibut and other meaty fish lend themselves well to curry flavours as they can stand up to the spices. That said, fish is delicious on its own with a simple squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper.

So it is important with this recipe to ensure the white fish fillets are cooked whole. You then get to enjoy the fish and dip it in just enough sauce to make it the perfect combo. 

Where is this recipe from?

This  curry recipe was introduced to me by a friend who was originally from Goa in southern India. He has a restaurant just outside of Birmingham and this white fish curry, usually made with cod there,  is never off his menu.

After learning the recipe I travelled to Goa and got to try first hand white fish curries that are very similar and equally as amazing. 

Make this recipe your own.

White fish curries can vary greatly in flavour and heat. They are often quite mild but can also be fiery hot. 

This recipe was developed with to be mildly spiced but how hot it is is down to you. Feel free to add more chillies and/or chilli powder. You could also omit the chillies if you like. 

Place with the sauce, adjust as you wish and you will end up with the perfect white fish curry for you.

Seasoned fish fillets

Season the fish fillets with salt and white pepper.

mixing marinade

Mix the marinade ingredients and whisk into a smooth paste.

searing the fish

Sear the fillets for about 10 minute on each side.

marinating the fish

Cover the fish fillets in a flat dish with the marinade and leave for 30 minutes to an hour.

infusing herbs and spices

Infuse the herbs and spices in the oil.

Frying onions for sauce

Fry the onions until light brown and then stir in the garlic and ginger paste.

Add the coconut milk

Add the coconut milk and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Taste it and add honey if you prefer a sweeter flavour.

Halibut on rice with sauce.

Place the cooked fish on rice and serve with the sauce.

Like the look of this halibut curry? Why not try some of these?

Keralan Fish Curry
Keralan Prawn Curry
Coconut and Chilli fish curry
Sri Lankan Fish Curry

Yield: 4

White Fish Curry Recipe

White fish curry with halibut
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 4 x 8oz/250g thick cut pieces of halibut
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil plus more for shallow frying
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp flaky salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp smashed processed cheese
  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 2 green bird's eye chillies - finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 2 tbsp ghee or rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 green bird's eye chillies - slit down the middle
  • 2 ½ cups / 600ml coconut
  • Honey to taste (optional)
  • 5cm (2" ) piece of ginger cut into fine strips
  • Salt to taste
  • Lime wedges to serve


  1. Season the halibut fillets with salt and white pepper and let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mash the cheese until it is creamy. Then add the yoghurt, chopped chillies and cream. Mix until very smooth.
  3. Pour oil into a pan until it is about 1/8 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium high heat until hot and shimmering and then sear the fish for about one minute on both sides.
  4. Place the seared fish in a bowl and cover with the yogurt mixture and let it sit for about half an hour. This time in the marinade enhances the flavour but is not essential.
  5. Heat you oven to 480 Fahrenheit/250 Celsius.
  6. For the sauce, heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the ghee/oil. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, stir in the curry leaves and cardamom pods to infuse these flavours into the oil.
  7. Add the onion and fry until soft. The stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds. Add the turmeric and stir in the coconut milk and slit chillies and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce will begin to thicken. Set aside.
  8. Taste the sauce. If you would like a sweeter sauce, stir in a little honey. Add salt to taste and keep warm.
  9. Now, put the fish on the top rack of the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the fish is just cooked through. When the fish is cooked, serve hot on top of rice.
  10. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve with lime wedges. Garnish with shopped coriander and the julienned ginger.

Did you like this recipe?

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It would be great to hear from you. Please let me know how you get on with this – my favourite  white fish curry recipe!

P.S. Make this with halibut! It is so good.


Tuesday 20th of February 2018

I am concerned that the turmeric as added will not cook and detract from the taste. Should I be concerned?

Dan Toombs

Saturday 24th of February 2018

Hi Raj - If you think it will be too much for your liking, use less!! You can always add more later if you want. Thanks, Dan


Friday 14th of February 2014

Hi! Sounds very delicious, I'll give it a try this week! One question though - what's meant with "1 piece" of cheese? I thought you meant 1 slice, but then it said it needs to be mashed...?


Dan Toombs

Saturday 15th of February 2014

Hi Amir

You just need a one inch cube of processed cheese. It needs to be processed cheese so that it will mash and become creamy in texture.

Thanks Dan

cooking fairy

Wednesday 17th of August 2011

Wow! What a delicious looking recipe. I adore fish curries, I always opt for them when I am eating out. I will give this one a try this weekend and let you know how I get on.

Love the concept.

Charlotte Cooking Fairy

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 17th of August 2011

Thanks Charlotte

I really hope you like it. I make it all this time as it's one of my favourites.


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