I was introduced to this Goan Seafood Curry in a local restaurant in Lahore that offers a variety of exotic and delicious cuisines from the neighbouring countries once a month on it’s menu. And it was love at first bite! A perfect harmony of flavours; sweet, sour, spicy and salty.

The cuisine of Goa is an amalgamation of local Indian food, four hundred years of Portuguese colonialism, and modern techniques. As the state is very famous for its beaches and worship places, its a busy tourist destination and most popular dishes cater to global palate.

Goan fish and prawn curries are so flavourful that the admiration has spread beyond the beaches of Goa and even the borders of India ! This curry has layers of flavour; its tangy and spicy with a hint of sweetness from coconut. The fresh flavours in the curry adapt beautifully to almost all seafood, not just fish – prawns, mussels, or squid taste equally great in this curry.

Mostly the curry is made with pomfret or any firm, flat white fish. I made it with Sole fish and prawns…also I put in the fish head because I believe the bones lend extra flavour to the curry. After cooking, you can discard the head before serving.

Goan Seafood curry is supposed to be spicy but if you are not really into spicy food then choose the variety of red chillies carefully. Kashmiri red chillies are less hot compared to other varieties but lend a vibrant reddish hue to the curry or simply reduce the quantity of chillies suggested in the recipe to your level of tolerance.


9 pieces of Sole ( including fish head, optional)
8 prawns
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
8 dry red chillies (use Kashmiri for less heat)
6 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger
1+1/2 inch lump tamarind, soaked in water
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black onion seeds
A few bay leaves or curry leaves

This Is What You Do:

Mix 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric and tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl, rub the mixture over prawns and pieces of fish. leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

Roast cumin and coriander seeds on a skillet till aromatic, for a few seconds. Grind roasted cumin, coriander, dry chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind juice and pulp in a blender or food processor. Add a little bit of water for a paste like consistency.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide mouthed pan or wok over medium heat. Add the onions and fry till light golden in colour. Add the masala paste and stir fry 2-3 minutes or till colour becomes deeper. Add tomatoes and cook till most of the moisture evaporates and tomatoes become really tender.

Add the marinated fish to this masala. Cook for 4-5 minutes, if you are using fish with bone or fish head cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the prawns and coconut milk, reduce heat to a simmer, cook another 2-3 minutes or till everything comes together. Add white vinegar, sugar and remaining salt.

For tarka or flavouring, heat remaining oil in a small frying pan, add onion seeds and bay leaf, stir fry a few seconds, stir into the curry. Garnish with green chilli pepper and fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice.

Serves 4

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