Punjabi Fish Curry (Serves: Two; Preparation Time: 30 minutes)

My Sunday started with a special request from him:

Machli jal ki rani hai,
Spicy fish curry khani hai,
Jhatpat laa-do bhookh lagi hai,
Kahan tumhari magical recipe hai?

Having taken me out for a movie date the previous evening, he had clocked some serious brownie points, so, my refusal to his request was out of question! Of course, I pampered him with his favorite fish curry and steamed rice. 

Here goes the recipe:


  • ½ kg fish of your choice
  • 1 tbsp refined oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • ½ tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 big/2 small onion ground into a paste
  • 2-3 medium sized tomatoes pureed
  • 1-2 cloves
  • 4-6 black peppercorns
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  ½ bowl beaten curd
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • ¼ garam masala
  • green chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves

  • Heat oil in a wok, add bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and cloves, let them crackle and add ginger and garlic paste, roast the paste on low flame

  • Once the ginger and garlic paste turns light brown, add the onion paste and cook till it turns dark

  • Now tip in the pureed tomatoes, salt,  turmeric, coriander and red chilly powder and cook well, till all the water from tomatoes is absorbed and all the spices blend well

  • Add the fish pieces, cover with a lid and cook  for about 5 minutes on medium flame

  • Uncover and create a hole in the middle of the wok, reduce the flame and add cold, beaten curd(beat the curd and pass it through a sieve to free it of any lumps); gradually fold in the curry, cover and cook once again for about 15 minutes or till the fish becomes tender, keep stirring at regular intervals

  • Finally, add some garam masala, serve in a dish and garnish with green chillies and coriander leaves

  • Enjoy the fiery and tangy fish curry with steamed rice


I use ‘Singhara’ fish, available pretty abundantly; it  has fewer bones

When buying fish,  get the middle chop from  a larger fish, instead of buying a smaller whole fish 

To clean, first wash the fish under running water, and then rub some besan (gram-flour) onto each piece and wash again

After washing the fish, rub on  a pinch of salt, turmeric powder and ½ lemon’s juice, mix well and leave it in a plate for 15-20 minutes; tilt the plate to allow the excess water to run off

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Anu Priya says:

    Best Recipe. I loved it. Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe with us. Spices Online


  2. I am happy to know you like it Anu Priya!!


  3. Unknown says:

    I will try it out today, right now…1st time gonna try cooking non-veg..so fingers crossed!!..:)


  4. Great recipe ! Loved it !


  5. Anonymous says:

    Did you fry the fish?


  6. Fish without frying curry mein ja k dissolve toh ni hoti?


  7. No it doesn’t, that’s why the cooking time after adding fish 🐠 is less


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