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Indian Fish Pie

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Classic hot fish pie with an Indian twist.

This fish pie is a play on that traditional British dish we all know and love.

It’s what my daughters request when they get asked what they want for a special dinner. I have a fondness for this Indian version which for my family is as much about the aromas that fill the kitchen as the magnificent flavour of the fish and Indian spices.

Indian Fish Pie

Like fish pie? You’ll love this spiced up version.

Why Indian style fish pie?

Writing this post brings back memories of long evenings sitting around the table, nibbling away at chunks of fresh fish and creamy potatoes and enjoying a bottle or two of nice wine.

Add a blazing fire in the fireplace and you’ve got the perfect evening.

This fish pie recipe has changed quite a lot over the years but I now have a version that I think you need to try.

Which fish?

The fish you use is not very important though I do like chunky white fish such as cod, halibut, coley and hake and smoked haddock. Be sure to use traditionally smoked haddock as that yellow dyed supermarket stuff just isn’t good enough.

Throw in some salmon and you’re in for a treat.

Getting this recipe right…

For best results, pass your mashed potatoes through a ricer to eliminate any lumps.

I don’t always take the time to do this but it does make a big difference.

Also ensure that you source the best quality, freshest fish you can find. I purchase the cut off scraps from my fishmonger. They may not be pretty and neatly cut but I know they are about as fresh as I can get, short of going out and catching the fish myself.

Step by step photos of Indian style fish pie…

Preparing yoghurt sauce

Prepare the yoghurt cream for the potatoes. Just a twist of lime and you’re off.

boiled potatoes

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until soft.

Mashed potatoes

Smash and then stir in the yoghurt sauce and a knob of butter. Season with salt to taste.

mashed potatoes

Smash until creamy smooth. Running the potatoes through a ricer will get even better results.


Infusing spices in ghee

Heat the ghee over medium high heat and stir in the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add  curry leaves to infuse for about 30 seconds.

Adding onions to the pan.

Stir in the chopped onions, Indian bay leaves and carrot and fry for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Adding tomatoes to pan

Now add the chopped tomatoes, sliced chillies, garlic and chopped coriander and stir well to combine.

Adding coconut milk and ground spices to pan

Stir in the coconut milk, fish stock or water and the ground spices.

Simmering sauce

Bring to a simmer to thicken slightly. I simmered my sauce for about 10 minutes.

passing sauce through a sieve.

Pass it all through a sieve pressing down on the vegetable to get every last drop.

Adding fish to sauce

Add the fish pieces to the sauce and simmer until just cooked through. About five minutes should do.

Removing cooked fish from the pan

Remove the cooked fish with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Making a roux

Now, in another pan, make a light roux with the butter and flour.

thickening the sauce

Slowly stir the roux into the sauce to thicken. You may not need all of it so one spoonful at a time!

How to serve the fish pie…

Serve it the way you like!

You could add all the cooked fish and sauce to a large casserole dish.

I served mine in individual portions and also saved the leftovers to bake later.

Preparing the fish for the pie

Add generous amounts of the cooked fish to individual dishes or place it in a large casserole.

Fish pie being prepared

Cover the fish with the sauce. Two large individual portions and another two that I saved for lunch the next day.

Adding potato to the dish

Top the fish and sauce with the mashed potato and brush with the egg wash.

Baking fish pie

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through and nicely browned on top. This could take longer if refrigerated first.

If you like this Indian style fish pie recipe, you might like to try some of these too..

Thai salt crust fish
Keralan fish fry
Easy Keralan prawn curry
Authentic Paella

fish pie

So good!

fish pie

Dig in!

Yield: 4

My Indian Fish Pie Recipe

fish pie


  • 1.5kg floury potatoes - peeled and cut into 2" chunks
  • 5 tbsp Greek yoghurt, whisked until smooth and creamy
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 2 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh green chillies split lengthwise
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 5 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 400ml rich thick coconut milk
  • 200ml milk
  • 400ml double thick cream
  • 300g traditionally smoked haddock
  • 300g cod fillet
  • 300g salmon
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 100g butter - plus a little extra to grease the oven dish
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200c (400f)
  2. Melt the ghee in a large sauce pan and fry the onions for 3 or 4 minutes until soft. Add the curry leaves.
  3. When the curry leaves become fragrant, pour in the milk, coconut milk and 300ml of the double cream.
  4. Add the cloves, garlic paste, bay leaves, the smoked haddock, chopped carrot, tomatoes and the chilli and bring to a boil and then lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about ten minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, take the fish out of the sauce and leave to cool on a plate.
  6. Strain the sauce into a jug and set aside.
  7. Rub a knob of butter inside a 1.75 litre oven proof dish.
  8. Tear the fish apart and place in the buttered dish.
  9. Now melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  10. When melted, add the flour and let the butter and flour blend.
  11. Slowly add the strained sauce to the butter and flour stirring continuously.
  12. Continue stirring for ten minutes to form a thick roux.
  13. When nice and creamy, add the garam masala, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste and then remove from the heat to cool.
  14. When cool, pour over the fish.
  15. Meanwhile, heat a large pan of water over high heat.
  16. Bring to a boil and add the potatoes and allow to simmer until nice and fall about soft.
  17. Strain and mash. If you have a ricer, run the mashed potatoes through it for even nicer potatoes.
  18. Whip in the remain cream and a little salt and pepper to taste.
  19. Carefully cover the fish and cream sauce with the mashed potatoes.
  20. Brush the top of the mashed potatoes with the egg yolk and then sprinkle with a handful or two of Cheddar cheese.
  21. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until the fish pie is piping hot and the cheese and potatoes are lightly browned on the top.

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I hope you enjoy this Indian style fish pie recipe. If you do give it a try, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 

Steve Newton

Sunday 6th of February 2022

When to add a) chopped carrot b) tomatoe c) mustard seed d) lime juice e) Chile powder


Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

Hi Dan, you say to add Smoked fish in step 4 but when do you add the rest of the fish

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Thanks for noticing those omissions from the recipe. In step 4 I mention to add the chilli but I have changed the recipe to state when to add the other three ingredients. Dan


Monday 14th of December 2020

Hi, just in the middle of making this and realised it doesnt say what to donwith the chopped onion, please can you advise, thank you.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Thanks for noticing, I have amended the recipe. Add the onions in the first step to the warmed ghee. Dan


Saturday 5th of April 2014

Hi Dan, this is a great recipe and I'm making it for the second time today! However, just wondering where the chopped coriander comes in? Thanks, H

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 15th of April 2014

Hi Habiba

Sorry. I must have left that out. Will look into it. It can go in with the sauce any time.

Thanks Dan

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