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Masala Fish

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The masala fish recipe is featured in my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Easy’.

I had to come up with over 100 easy recipes for my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Easy’ and this masala fish was one of them. This is an authentic masala fish or masala machli recipe from Pakistan and it is definitely one to put on your ‘must try’ list!

masala fish

This Pakistani masala fish recipe is really easy and tastes amazing too. – PHOTO BY KRIS KIRKHAM FOR ‘THE CURRY GUY EASY’.

About this masala fish recipe…

This is a light and delicious fish dish that is often seen on starter menus but masala fish works really well as a main dish too.

It may be easy to make, but you’d never know it from all the fantastic flavours.

This recipe was sent to me by Zulfi Karim, owner of Curryosity near Bradford long before I wrote The Curry Guy Easy, so I have been making this recipe for years.

Zulfi uses haddock but lately I’ve been making this dish with my favourite fish, halibut. It might be a little more expensive than haddock but I love the meaty texture. You could use the meat fish of your choice.

Does the fish have to be cooked exactly as photographed?

Nope. You can use whole fillets of fish or cut them into bite-sized pieces. The choice is yours and both are authentic.

I like to serve the fried fish with my spicy coriander chutney with about five tablespoons of natural plain yoghurt whisked into it. It is also equally as good with tomato salsa.

You might like to try some of these recipe too…

Indian fish fry
Tandoori baked salmon
Asian Honey Roast Baked Salmon
Baked salmon Korean style

Yield: 4

Masala Fish

Masala Fish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes


  • 700g (1lb 9oz) halibut, cod or haddock
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour 4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tbsp ground tumeric
  • 3 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ajwain seeds
  • 2 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp crushed chilli (hot pepper)
  • flakes 1/2 tsp salt
  • Rapeseed oil, for frying Coriander chutney or tomato
  • salsa, to serve


  1. Marinate the fish in the lemon juice for no more than 10 minutes. While the fish is marinating, mix the flours, dried spices and salt together in a large bowl. Turn the marinated fish pieces in the flour mixture to coat
    and shake off any excess. There only needs to be a thin dusting of the flour mixture on the fish.
  2. Heat about 2.5cm (1in) depth of rapeseed oil in a large frying pan. The oil is hot enough when thousands of little bubbles form around a wooden chopstick or spatula when placed in the oil
  3. Place the fish in the oil and cook for about 2 minutes. Then, flip the fish over and cook for another 1 minute on the other side, or until just cooked through.
  4. Serve the fish with the above mentioned coriander chutney or tomato salsa which
    also goes really well.

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