Kari Ikan Merah (Red Snapper Coconut Curry)

Red Snapper Coconut Curry

Red Snapper Coconut Curry

The fish curry sold in most Indian stalls here in Singapore have thin gravy. It is not as thick as the meat curries. Come to think of it, this could be how it is cooked in South India because most Indian food in Singapore has a South Indian influence. I am not a fan of thin gravy curries thus I seldom buy fish curries sold at the food stalls.

I came across a picture of a fish curry with thick gravy and I was hooked. Moreover, it used my favorite fish, red snapper. I know a picture can be misleading but the recipe is by a Masterchef winner, Shelina Permalloo, a Mauritian at heart, born in the UK. So I gave it a shot since I need something to go with my Lemon & Raisin Rice I just made.

It turned out better than I expected, I made it so hot and spicy but the hubby loved it. He had a second helping of rice and the curry. You can reduce the spiciness by reducing the chillies or leave it out totally but why would you do that!

I have made some adjustments to the recipe due to the amount of fish I used. Please remember, the recipe is just a guideline. You have to keep tasting your food while cooking and adjust the seasoning to get the best taste and consistency. I cooked it a bit longer because I wanted to have a thicker gravy but you need not do so if you find it’s thick enough. Below is the recipe.

Makes: 3 – 4 servings

Preparation Time: 30 – 40 minutes

Cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 – 5 pieces of red snapper fillets

Heat cooking oil in the large pan over a high heat. Place 1 or 2 fillet of the red snapper in the pan, fry both sides until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the fillet in the pan as you will not get a nice crispy fry. Once done, remove the fish and set aside.

  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger paste
  • 2 – 3 birds eye chillies  (I used 5!), halved lengthwise
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of fish curry powder
  • 2 big fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree or tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 150 – 200 ml of fish stock, you can use Knorr’s chicken stock cube dissolved in the water.
  • Salt, Pepper and Seasoning powder to taste


Making Red Snapper Coconut Curry

Clockwise from top-left: Making Red Snapper Coconut Curry

  1. Reuse the oil used to fry the fish earlier but leave about 2-3 tablespoons in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low.
  2. Add the diced shallots until translucent and add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to soften the shallots.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger paste, and chillies and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the curry leaves and curry powder and mix well before adding the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Cook till the tomatoes softened.
  5. Add the cream coconut to the fish stock and stir till dissolved. Add this mixture to the pan, mix well and let it cook for several minutes, continue to stir until the sauce thickened to your desired consistency.
  6. Taste and add salt and seasoning powder to before adding the fried fish fillets.
  7. Once you have added the fried fish fillets, let it cook for several more minutes. If the gravy is too thick, you can add some water.
  8. To serve, garnish by sprinkling some chopped fresh coriander leaves over the dish just before serving.
  9. This dish is best eaten hot with warm white rice.

Please give this dish a try. Remember, adjust as required, you don’t have to follow my ingredients by the letter. Like my mother always said “Agak-agak la..” or guesstimates. Happy cooking 😀


2 thoughts on “Kari Ikan Merah (Red Snapper Coconut Curry)

  1. Pingback: ikan Mujair | ediredz

  2. Pingback: Ikan sapu-sapu | ediredz

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