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Goan Fish Curry

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Goan Fish Curry

Swordfish Ambot Tik

Goan Fish Curry is really easy to make and tastes amazing.

Goan Fish Curry –  ambot tik is one of my favourite Goan fish curries.

This amazing and simple Goan fish curry brings back great memories of my stays in Goa. The recipe isn’t difficult but you need to be careful not to overcook the white fish.

The meat should be nice and tender but if left too long, it will fall apart. For this reason, you want to decide before you start making the curry, just how thick you want your gravy to be for this Goan fish curry recipe.

You really only simmer the sauce for about six minutes total so only add water until you are happy with the consistency as it really won’t reduce very much in six minutes.

In Goa, this curry is made with baby sharks that are caught right off the coast. The sharks look like they are about big enough to take off a toe so luckily I was never attacked. The fresh shark meat was so good but shark is a bit difficult to come by where I live. Any meaty white fish works well with this recipe.

Ambot tik curries are both sour and spicy. You can decide how spicy and sour they yours is by reducing or increasing the amount of chillies and tamarind used.


If you love this Goan recipe try these alternatives:

Goan Xacutti
Goan sausage meat
Goan Beef Croquettes
Goan Lamb & Coconut Curry
Goan Mutton Curry
Goan Spicy Bean Cakes
Goan Lamb & Coconut Curry
Goan Recheado Masala Paste


Making ambot tik

Season the fish with the salt in a large bowl.

Making ambot tik

Temper the curry leaves in the oil and then brown the onions.

Making ambot tik

Blend the curry paste ingredients.

Making ambot tik

Add the chopped tomatoes and curry paste.

Making ambot tik

Stir in a little water to make a gravy, add the sliced chillies and let it all simmer for about three minutes.

Making ambot tik

Add the fish and submerge it into the gravy. Simmer until cooked through but be careful not to overcook!

Making ambot tik

As the sauce simmers it will thicken and cook the fish.

Yield: 4

Swordfish Ambot Tik

Swordfish Ambot Tik
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 500g sword fish – skinned and sliced thickly
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil
  • 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 1 medium brown onion – finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies - sliced lenthwise
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 10 dried Kashmiri chillies
  • 1 medium red onion – roughly chopped
  • 6 large cloves garlic – peeled and smashed
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger – roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves - smashed
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick


  1. In a bowl, stir the salt into the fish and set aside while you make the sauce.
  2. Blend all of the curry paste ingredients with just enough water to make a thick and smooth paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium high heat. When hot, add the curry leaves and temper them in the oil for about 30 seconds. Then add the onion and fry for about 5 - 7 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Add the curry paste and tomatoes and give it all a good stir. Now add enough water to make a gravy that is to your preferred consistency. I used about 250ml (1 cup). Add the green chillies and the fish and push the fish down into the simmering sauce to cook. It should only take about three minutes.
  5. To finish, stir in the tamarind paste one tablespoon at a time. Tamarind concentrate gives the curry a nice sour flavour. I recommend tasting the sauce after one tablespoon and then adding more if you like.
  6. Season with salt to taste and garnish with the chopped coriander.

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Sunday 2nd of December 2018

Hi Dan, my local Indian supermarket has told me that they can't sell curry leaves as they are illegal to import. Is this true?

Dan Toombs

Monday 3rd of December 2018

Hi Charles

I haven't heard that one. I just bought some yesterday. They are brought in but there are also UK growers that supply the shops.


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