Kari Kepala Ikan (Fish Head Curry)

Fish Head Curry

Fish Head Curry

Like most of the curry dishes, fish head curry is one of the many curry dishes loved by many. It is more well known notably among Singaporeans. Just head down to Samy’s or Muthu’s or any of the Indian restaurants on Race Course Road for a taste. It’s just sublime and you just can’t help but to associate this dish with ‘you died and go to heaven’ feeling.

The husband just can’t get enough of this dish and often asked us out to eat at any of these restaurants to get his dose of fish head curry.

Since it is such a favorite dish in my family, I headed down to the wet market in the morning to look for red snapper fish head and some ladies fingers. I look forward to go to the wet market near my place.

The Indian stall there sells a lot of spices, herbs and hard-to-find ingredients that you can’t get at most wet markets except maybe Geylang market or Mustafa’s. So I consider myself fortunate to have them near my place. Let you take a peek below of some scenes I snapped with my android phone.

My favorite mamak stall at Vista Point, Woodlands.

Now, where were we, oh yes, I got my red snapper heads and some ladies fingers and now we are ready to start cooking. Below are the ingredients.

  • 1 red snapper head, halved and washed
  • (a) 3 tablespoons of fish curry
  • (b) 1/2 cup of water
  • Mix (a) and (b) to make a paste.
  • 2 fresh green chillies, halved lengthwise
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, halved
  • 5-6 ladies fingers, remove the stalk on top
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5-6 shallots, sliced finely
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced finely
  • 2-3 stalks of spring onions, sliced to about 1-2 centimeters in length
  • 1 teaspoon of halba (fenugreek)
  • 1/2 cup of tamarind juice
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • Some Curry leaves
  • Salt and Seasonings to taste
  • 1 cup of plain water
  • Cooking oil


Clockwise from top left: Steps to make Kari Kepala Ikan (Fish Head Curry)

Clockwise from top left: Steps to make Kari Kepala Ikan (Fish Head Curry)

  1. Heat oil in a deep pan or wok. Stir-fry the shallots and garlic till softened. Then add in the halba (fenugreek), curry paste and curry leaves. Mix and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the cooking paste is fragrant.
  2. Next add in the onions, ladies fingers and green chillies. Mix well then add the tamarind juice and half cup of water. Combine well and let it simmer, once it started to boil, add in the coconut milk and mix.
  3. Once it starts to boil, add in the fish heads and let it cook until you can see the oil starts to float to the surface.
  4. Finally add in the tomatoes, spring onions and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes more. The curry gravy should not be too thick, add more water if it is.

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