Mangalorean Mustard & Coconut Fish Curry

By / Food / May 11th, 2021 / 2

by Chef Milton Rebello

This recipe is from my early days watching my Ma prepare this beautiful fish curry. The onion tomato spice masala, the flavour of mustard and coconut milk add richness to the curry.

Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 people


  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely crushed)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh curry leaves (stem removed)
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml/3½fl oz tamarind liquid
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 2 green chilies (sliced lengthways into 6 pieces with seeds)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 700g/1lb 9oz ocean-friendly cod fillet or salmon or snapper fillet (cut into 5cm/2in chunks) 
  • 2 tsp fresh coriander leaves, cilantro (chopped)  


  • Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds or till the mustard splatters.
  • Stir in the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden-brown.
  • Add the curry leaves, mustard powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and sauté for two minutes till the oil separates from the mixture. 
  • Stir in the tomatoes, tamarind liquid and salt, simmer for about 10 minutes,
  • Add coconut milk, then simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add the fish, cook for a further five minutes or until fish cooked through — stir very carefully as fish is very delicate
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Take off the flame, cover and let sit for few minutes for fish to absorb the flavour of the sauce.
  • Best accompanied with seamed basmati rice, onion salad and papadam (lentil cracker)

About Chef Milton Rebello and Skye Cafe & Bistro:

Milton Rebello has had a career spanning multiple continents and some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens, including Fairmont, Starwood, Carlson Rezidor and Silver Birch hotels, Carnival Cruise Line and New York Times four-star restaurants. Taking his father’s quote to heart — find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life — Milton fell in love with cooking. After graduating from culinary school, he trained under some of the finest chefs in India, Dubai, Bahrain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, United States, cruise ships around the globe and Canada. Winning Gold at Gold Medal Plates in Regina in 2012 and 2014, Milton went on to make history in 2013 as the first Saskatchewan chef to medal at the Canadian Culinary Championship. Adding to his credentials as a Journeyman Red Seal Chef, in 2012, Milton attained the “Canadian Certified Chef de Cuisine” and finalist at 2020 Food Network’s Fire Masters. His approach to cooking? Enhance nature’s gift. Focus on simplicity and elegance. Create an experience, not just a meal.


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