Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today




Monica's Tomato and Coconut Fish Curry

From Modern Spice by Monica Bhide. Copyright 2009 by Monica Bhide. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Serves 4

Prep/Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small green serrano chile, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 pound catfish fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1⁄2 of a 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)



  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the mustard seeds. As soon as they crackle, add the curry leaves, ginger, garlic, and green chile. Sauté for a few seconds to combine.
  2. Add the tomato. Cook gently for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tomato is soft and the oil begins to leave the side of the mixture. You can add some water if the tomato begins to stick. I sometimes add a quarter-cup of water and cover the pan for 5 to 6 minutes. This helps cook the tomatoes faster. Then I uncover it and continue to cook until all the water evaporates.
  3. Stir in the turmeric, chile powder, and salt. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the fish and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk. Let the mixture come to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fish is tender. Serve immediately.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Services & Discounts

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

denny's restaurant member discount membership

Members save 15% all day, every day when dining at participating Denny’s restaurants.

Carrabba's Italian Grill Chicken Plate, Member Benefits

Members save 15% on lunch and dinner every day at Carrabba's Italian Grill.

Bonefish Pan Asian

Members save 15% on lunch and dinner every day at Bonefish Grill.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.