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Seafood in Indian Cooking

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 5 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Inidan Fish Indian Seafood Indian

If you’ve ever visited an Indian restaurant in Britain you could be forgiven for thinking that prawns are the only seafood eaten in India. That’s far from the case.

India’s coastline states, such as Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra and Orissa are renowned for their flavourful spicy seafood dishes, while Bengalis, who inhabit a delta-like state, criss-crossed by rivers, cook and enjoy a huge variety of freshwater fish.

Goan Fish Curry

  • 12 red chillies, cored, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1” root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Water, about 10 tablespoons
  • A pinch salt
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 4 chunky white fish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 small tomato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 green chillies, cored, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons water

Grind together the first seven ingredients, adding water as required to make a smooth paste.

Mix together a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric and rub it into the fish flesh. Set aside for 5 minutes and then wash and pat dry.

Fry the onions in oil until golden brown. Add the curry paste and the tomato. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, water, fish and chillies. Bring to the boil and simmer for 7 minutes or until the fish is cooked and the flesh flakes easily.

  • Traditionally this is made with pomfret, a fish that is available in some large fish markets.
  • This is a hot dish! Reduce the number of chillies used to taste.

Green Steamed Fish

  • 4 white fish fillets
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped coriander
  • 6 green chillies, cored, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 4 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon slices for garnish

Make cuts into the fish flesh. Rub the fish with lemon juice and salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a liquidiser, make a paste from the remaining ingredients. Rub the paste over the fish and leave to marinate for another 30 minutes.

Wrap the fish individually in aluminium foil with any remaining marinade. Place in a steamer and steam for about 25 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Serve garnished with lemon slices.

  • Banana leaf is traditionally used for the wrapping.

Easy Creamy Tiger Prawns

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 lb raw tiger prawns, peeled
  • 1 jar of Balti sauce (or make your own – see below)
  • 2 oz creamed coconut
  • 2 oz ground almonds
  • 3 courgettes, finely sliced
  • ¼ pint double cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped
  • Toasted almond flakes

Fry the onion over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the prawns and continue to stir fry until they begin to change colour.

Add the balti sauce, coconut and almonds and bring to the boil. Add the courgettes. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the prawns are cooked. Stir in the cream and heat through (without boiling). Stir in the coriander and serve garnished with the toasted almonds.

Easy Balti Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 chillies, cored, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1” root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Fry the onion and chillies for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue frying until the onions are golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

This sauce can be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen.

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