Sri Lankan Fish Curry

(from xombi’s recipe box)

Source: Rick Stein Food Heroes

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves 4 people

Categories: Food Heroes


  • 4 x 225g/8oz salmon steaks
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 small pieces rampe (screwpine), optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp Sri Lankan curry powder (see below)
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 50ml/2fl oz tamarind liquid
  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk
  • salt
  • Asian-style chutneys such as mango, lime, aubergine or tamarind to serve
  • For the Sri Lankan curry powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed
  • 11/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • a pinch of fenugreek seed
  • 2.5cm/1in piece cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 6 black peppercorns


  1. For the Sri Lankan curry powder, simply grind everything together in a spice grinder into a fine powder. Store in a screw top jar.

  2. Rinse the fish steaks under cold water and dry on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan, add the onion, garlic, curry leaves and ‘rampe’ if using and fry gently for 7-10 minutes until the onions are soft and lightly golden.

  3. Add the turmeric, chilli powder and 2 tbsp of the Sri Lankan curry powder and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tamarind liquid, coconut milk and 1 tsp of salt and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

  4. Add the salmon steaks to the pan and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the fish. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, then cover the pan and set aside for 30 minutes. By this time the fish should be cooked through – but if not, just return to the heat for a few more minutes until it is. Serve with some steamed basmati rice.

Email to a friend | Print this recipe | Back