Durban fish curry

Durban fish curry

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  • 6 to 8
  • Easy
  • Dairy free Fat conscious Health conscious
  • 20 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • Paul Cluver Close Encounter Riesling


  • 5 T oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 T garlic, crushed
  • 1 kg jam or Roma tomatoes, liquidised
  • 2 curry leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 T chilli powder
  • 1 T ground pepper
  • 1 T mustard seeds
  • 1 T cumin seeds
  • ½ t ground turmeric
  • 150 g black tamarind paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 kg firm-textured fish (such as yellowtail), cut into squares
  • 6-8 free-range eggs, boiled (optional)
  • fresh coriander, to garnish
  • spring onions, to garnish
  • basmati rice or garlic rolls, for serving

Cooking Instructions

Heat the oil in a large, flat saucepan and fry the onions. Add the chillies and garlic, 1 cup crushed tomatoes, curry leaves and salt.

Add the dry spices and cook for 10 minutes. Dissolve the tamarind in the water. Add the remaining tomatoes to the tamarind water, then add to the pan and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the fish and simmer, with the lid slightly open, for 10 minutes or until just cooked. Add the boiled eggs if using. Garnish with fresh coriander and spring onions and serve with the rice or garlic rolls.

Cook's note: My godson’s wife Kubesh Moodley gave me her mother Niri’s recipe for a curry that’s exquisitely spiced and sauced, textured with whole seeds. Kubesh grew up in Port Edward on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal and her father, Gops, was a keen fisherman, so they always had the best fresh fish available.

Browse more curry recipes here.

Phillippa Cheifitz Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz
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Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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