South Indian Fish Stew


This south Indian fish stew perfectly balances the warmth of chillies, the creaminess of coconut and the tanginess of lemon to create comfort in a bowl

Flat lay of the south Indian fish stew in a bowl
South Indian Fish Stew

This fish stew is so comforting and moreish that, well, you’ll just want more and more! Inspired by traditional south Indian fish curries, this stew perfectly balances the warmth of chillies, the creaminess of coconut and the tanginess of lemon to create comfort in a bowl.

The delicate fish effortlessly takes on the flavour of the spices without losing any of its own gorgeous freshness. For this recipe I’ve used cod, however most white fish will work well.

Ingredients

  • 500g cod fish fillets, cut into large pieces, (haddock or pollock can be used also)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 5 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1-2 large potato(es), peeled and cut into quarters 
  • 100g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 500ml vegetable stock – alternatively the same measure of water dissolved with 1 stock cube
  • 1 cup high-grade thick coconut milk
  • 1 lemon, juiced

(* 1 Tsp = 5ml, 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml)


How to make South Indian Fish Stew

1. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over a medium flame. Once the olive oil has warmed, add the shallots and sauté until they begin to soften. Next, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 30-60 secs, just until their rawness has cooked out. 


2. Now add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and cumin powder and stir the spices into the shallots, ginger and garlic. Within a minute the spices should begin to release their aromas. 


3. At this point, add the potatoes, chickpeas and vegetable stock into the pot. Allow the stew to come to a simmer and then cover the pot. 


4. When the potatoes have completely cooked through, gently place the pieces of fish into the pot, laying them on top of the stewing ingredients. Cover the pot once more and gently simmer for about 5 mins.


5. Finally, pour the thick coconut milk, lemon juice and sprinkle in some flaked sea salt. Simmer for a final minute and then remove from the heat. 


6. Sprinkle over chopped coriander and serve immediately with some good crusty bread. 


Similar dishes that you could try

Loving this fish recipe? Why not check out some of these other seafood recipes!

Indian Fried Calamari

Indian Fish Cakes


Tips on making the perfect bowl

Preparing the shallots, ginger and garlic – Slice the shallots thinly and dice the garlic and ginger finely, this is so that they melt into the stew during the cooking process. If you’re not achieving a fine enough dice, you can also grate the ginger and garlic on a microplane so it turns into a fine paste.

Frying the shallots – You want to impart the delicate flavour from the shallots, so only sauté the shallots until they have softened. Do not allow them to adopt a caramelised colour. 

Frying the spices – When adding the powdered spices, the flame should be emitting a low-medium heat. Too high and the spices will burn and give the stew a bitter taste.

Preparing the fish pieces – Skin and cut the fish into large chunks and marinate with 1 tbsp of sea salt for 30 mins. Once marinated, thoroughly wash the salt off from the fish pieces. This process will help salt the fish and keep it firm.

Cooking the fish pieces – Once placed over the stewing ingredients, cover the pot with a lid and allow the stew to gently simmer. The build-up of steam created will cook the fish in 4-6 mins.

Adding the coconut milk – To retain the fresh creamy flavour of the coconut milk, only simmer the stew for another minute once the coconut milk has been added.  


How to serve your South Indian Fish Stew

You can enjoy this stew all on its own or with a side of rice. If you don’t fancy rice, then you could have it with some lovely crusty bread. The bread will soak up the stew beautifully.


Storing Suggestions

You can refrigerate the leftover fish stew in an airtight container for upto 1-2 days. When reheating, only simmer for as long as it’s required to bring it back up to temperature. This should only take 2-3 minutes. Too long and the fish will overcook. 

For a longer storing period, you can freeze the stew in an airtight container for 1 month. Allow the stew to defrost completely before following the reheating method above.


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South Indian Fish Stew

Recipe by George AlexanderCourse: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

545

kcal
Method

Stovetop

Total time

50

minutes

This south Indian fish stew perfectly balances the warmth of chillies, the creaminess of coconut and the tanginess of lemon to create comfort in a bowl.

Ingredient

  • 500g cod fish fillets, cut into large pieces (haddock or pollock can be used also)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 

  • 5 shallots, sliced thinly

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped 

  • 1 tsp chilli powder 

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1-2 large potato(es), peeled and cut into quarters 

  • 100g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 500ml vegetable stock – alternatively the same measure of water dissolved with 1 stock cube

  • 1 cup high-grade thick coconut milk

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt 

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over a medium flame. Once the olive oil has warmed, add the shallots and sauté until they begin to soften. Next, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 30-60 secs, just until their rawness has cooked out.
  • Now add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and cumin powder and stir the spices into the shallots, ginger and garlic. Within a minute the spices should begin to release their aromas.
  • At this point, add the potatoes, chickpeas and vegetable stock into the pot. Allow the stew to come to a simmer and then cover the pot. 
  • When the potatoes have completely cooked through, gently place the pieces of fish into the pot, laying them on top of the stewing ingredients. Cover the pot once more and gently simmer for about 5 mins.
  • Finally, pour the thick coconut milk, lemon juice and sprinkle in some flaked sea salt. Simmer for a final minute and then remove from the heat.
  • Sprinkle over chopped coriander and serve immediately with some good crusty bread.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container


Calories545

  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 22g 34%
    • Saturated Fat 13g 65%
  • Cholesterol 71mg 24%
  • Sodium 1714mg 72%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 825mg 24%
  • Total Carbohydrate 56g 19%
    • Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
    • Sugars 14g
  • Protein 32g 64%
  • Vitamin A 4%
  • Vitamin C 37%
  • Calcium 14%
  • Iron 53%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #_pestleandspice. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter for the latest recipes and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

If you love this fish stew recipe, why don’t you check out our other stew recipes? Like this light lamb stew recipe.


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