How to make Sri Lankan coconut fish curry

Seasonal cooking shouldn’t just be about trying to cook food that is ripe or readily available. To me, it’s also a reference to cooking food that you feel like eating at a particular time of year. Now that we are finally getting to British summer time I have been thinking back to my summer holiday to Sri Lanka and the food I ate there. Particularly the hot, spicy but still refreshing seafood curries that we ate so often. This recipe for a coconut fish curry is one that I was taught by Karuna in her cooking class and is perfect summer time eating.
Dicing the tuna
Once you have assembled all the ingredients the recipe itself could not be easier. It is just a matter of keeping an eye on the fish to make sure that it doesn’t overcook. The tomato and heat from the chillis and curry leaves cuts through the rich coconut cream to make the perfect curry dish. You can serve it Sri Lankan style as just one of a feast of various curries but it is equally good served by itself with some steamed rice.
Mixing the ingredients together


1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
500g firm fish such as fresh tuna fillet
1 red onion diced
3 cups coconut cream
1 tomato
10 fresh green chillis
10 curry leaves
The finished curry
1. Make the curry powder by using a mortar and pestle to mix the tumeric, chilli flakes, salt and curry powder.
2. Rinse the fish fillets in cold water, pat with kitchen towel to dry and cut into chunks.
3. Mix the curry powder with the coconut cream and then place all the ingredients into a heavy based saucepan or wok and mix well.
4. Cook over a high heat for 10 minutes or until the mixture is boiling and the fish is cooked through.
5. Serve with steamed rice.
Serves four.
If you liked reading this you might be interested in this recipe for Sri Lankan style coconut pancakes or my tips for where to eat in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.


  1. What a wonderful and exotic looking dish, this would make a great dinner!

  2. Damn that looks good

  3. Sri Lanka is a place I have never been that excited to go to but this kinda makes me want to change my mind!

  4. That looks delicious and yet straightforward! I might ask if hubby wants to give that a go 🙂

  5. I know this is a delicious meal! I have used similar spices in cooking other meats and it was fantastic; yum!

  6. Hi Gourmet Chick,
    Glad I found your site, it looks really good.
    I just moved away from London and wish I’d found the site before! But I love to travel so I’ll keep you in mind before I head off anywhere!

  7. Heavenly Housewife – It is a great (and quick) dinner

    Dave – It was

    Tom – I had a brilliant holiday there, check out my other posts about it, highly recommend.

    Lorraine – tell hubby good luck

    Taste of Beirut – I think it is a tried and tested combination – but always a winner

    Sean – thanks and good luck on your travels

  8. Brilliant. I grew up with curry leaves. You’d be surprised how many people don’t even know what they are.
    Looks amazing!

  9. grt recipe a tip though,cook up all the curry with all the ingredients,when cooked lay on fish fillets skin side up and a tight fitting lid on pan,turn off heat,25 mins later if the skin peels off fillets tis perfectly cooked and moist also lack of high heat allows flavours in curry to mature

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