Tamarind Seafood Curry

How to make a Tamarind Seafood Curry.

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

  • 500 g firm white fish such as kingklip, cob or fresh hake
  • 800 g calamari rings
  • 240 g shrimp
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200 ml tamarind water (dissolve the pulp surrounding one tamarind seed in cold water, discarding the seed)
  • 1 x 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 500 ml fish stock
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 green chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 Tbsp dried curry leaves
  • Basmati rice, cooked with ½ tsp ground turmeric and a little salt until the rice has taken up all the cooking water 
  • Coriander leaves/dhania for garnish

For the fish masala:

  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground fennel
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 scant tsp chilli powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin


  1. Mix the masala.
  2. Trim away the skin of the kingklip if there is any.
  3. Remove any pin bones you can feel with your fingers.
  4. Cut the kingklip into bite-size chunks.
  5. Coat the kingklip pieces in the masala.
  6. Retain the rest of the spice mix to add to the curry.
  7. Sauté onion and garlic in coconut oil, add tomatoes, fish stock and tamarind pulp mixed with cold water.
  8. Add the remaining fish masala, cardamom pods, curry leaves and chillies.
  9. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes for the flavours to develop and the sauce to reduce and thicken by reduction.
  10. If the sauce is not of a suitably thick consistency, reduce it for longer.
  11. Add the chunks of kingklip and simmer for 5 minutes.
  12. Add the calamari rings and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more.
  13. Add the shrimp for 2 more minutes of cooking.
  14. Meanwhile, make yellow basmati rice and have it ready.
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
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