Andhra fish curry


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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Andhra curry powder is made using Kashmiri chilli powder, which comes from deep red, dried chillies with wrinkled skin. It imparts a vibrant red colour and a mild heat. If you can’t get it, use two-thirds Kashmiri chilli powder with one-third turmeric.

This is a tomato-based fish curry that, unusually, doesn’t use coconut milk – the distinct tastes come from Kashmiri chilli powder, tamarind and mango, but the spices and flavourings give a subtle and layered flavour. Haddock keeps its texture and flavour well, as does cod. I have also made it with pollock, which is generally a pretty flavour-free fish, but takes these flavours really well.


  • 75 g dried tamarind pulp
  • 100 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • 3 tsp Andhra curry powder (or 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder and 1 tsp ground turmeric)
  • 1 mango cheek from a large unripe mango or 1 whole small unripe mango
  • 450 g ripe tomatoes, chopped, or 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • about 6 curry leaves, fresh or dried
  • 500 g haddock fillet, skinned and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 140 g long-grain rice
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • a small handful of fresh coriander leaves


  1. Start by boiling 150 ml water and submerging the tamarind in it. Leave to soak for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or flameproof casserole over a medium heat and fry the onions, fenugreek, mustard and cumin seeds with the salt. When the onions are soft, add the garlic, green chilli, curry powder or chilli powder and turmeric. Cook for a further minute or so.
  3. Cut the flesh from the mango, but leave the skin on. Then slice the flesh crossways, trying to ensure that each slice has a strip of peel. Add these slices, the tomatoes and the curry leaves to the pan and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Strain the tamarind pulp through a sieve, pressing down with the back of a spoon to get all but the seeds through. Pour the liquid into the curry.
  4. Rinse the rice in cold water. Put into a saucepan, pour over enough water to cover by 2–3cm (1in) and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for roughly 10 minutes without lifting the lid, until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and set aside, still covered, until ready to be served.
  5. Return the curry to a simmer for a minute or two (it should be liquid, but thick) before adding the fish and cooking for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the haddock continue to cook gently in the curry for a few minutes while the flavour penetrates the fish.
  6. Tip the curry into a serving dish and garnish with the spring onions and coriander. Serve with the rice.