Photo: Oxmoor House
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
47 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1/2 cup sauce, 5 ounces fish, and 1 lemon wedge)

Tanzania sits at a crossroads in the spice trade routes from India. That's why Indian spices ended up in so many Tanzanian dishes like this fish curry. The dish originated in Zanzibar but is now enjoyed all over the eastern coast of Africa. Coconut milk enriches the curry and gives it a tropical flavor. Serve over boiled yuca, potatoes, or rice.

How to Make It

Step 1

Sprinkle fish with 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, 3/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Step 2

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add fish; cook 4 minutes or until deeply browned on bottom but undercooked on top (fish will finish cooking later in sauce). Remove fish from pan.

Step 3

Add onion and bell pepper to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, tomato, and lemon juice. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 10 minutes or until tomato breaks down, stirring occasionally. Mash tomato with a wooden spoon.

Step 4

Stir in coconut milk. Return fish along with accumulated juices to pan, browned side up. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Cut fish into 4 equal portions. Spoon sauce into individual, shallow bowls; top each with a piece of fish. Serve with lemon wedges and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Chef's Notes

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Ratings & Reviews

Add a little interest to fish

August 22, 2015
Excellent recipe. Added sliced carrots. Also added a little Srirachi sauce for heat and flavor. If you don't have any, can use a little crushed red pepper.

Good, not great

May 02, 2015
We used halibut.  It was good but I expected more flavor and I used extra curry.  I kept wanting some more heat - should've added some siracha or red pepper flakes.  I did add some baby spinach to steam in the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Served over jasmine rice.  Not sure I'd make this one again - I have similar recipes from CL that I prefer for mild white fish.

Very good!

March 18, 2015
This was very good. Any white fish can be used. I used cod. Great with a side of crusty bread.

Suze02's Review

June 15, 2014

fallingsnow's Review

April 13, 2014
I added more curry powder, some Garam Masala as others have suggested, and some Sriracha for heat. Also used cod instead of halibut. It was very good, but not one of my favorites. I felt like it was missing something...just not sure exactly what.

mrothmel's Review

March 29, 2014
This dish was delicious. I made it with Cod (it's cheaper), added more curry powder, and added garam masala.

juliems's Review

March 28, 2014
This was delish! I used powdered yellow curry that I got in a health food store because I wasn't sure what Madras curry was. I added cubed sweet potato because I ended up with a lot of sauce (yummy). I also used fresh basil instead of cilantro. I added more salt in the end because it was slightly sour. I used half fresh and half canned tomatoes and I think it was better for it. I also used Tilapia. My husband (who is a chef by profession) and child loved it! I would have added some fresh green chili pepper (jalapeno) to it if I hadn't been feeding it to a child. So good I felt I had to join this site and write a review!!

carolfitz's Review

March 23, 2014
Excellent results. Leap of faith, with halibut $30/lb. Made to recipe except subbed 1¼c drained petite diced tomato for fresh (because we don't get good fresh tomatoes in March). To the curry powder, added 1½tsp garam masala, divided. Served with basmati & wilted spinach.

saracat's Review

March 21, 2014
This was delicious. The only thing I changed was to add a bit more curry powder and salt. I served over boiled Yukon gold potatoes. My husband requested that I make it again next week.

LDombeck's Review

May 04, 2014