Sri Lankan Tomato Fish Curry

Cook time:
Serves 4 Ingredients: 1 - 20-24 oz fillet of barramundi fish, cut into large 1 1/2 inch chunks, 2 teaspoons - turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons - black mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon - cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon - whole black peppercorns, 3 - large tomatoes, sliced, 2 - medium red onions, sliced, 1 inch - nub ginger, peeled and sliced, 4 - cloves garlic, peeled and diced, 5 - green bird’s eye chilies, 1 teaspoon - salt, 4 - green cardamoms, lightly crushed to open the pods, 1 - cinnamon stick, snapped into pieces, 15-20 - fresh curry leaves, 1 cup - coconut milk, 1 tablespoon - pure tamarind pulp,
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Sri Lankan
Tomato Fish Curry

  • 10m prep
  • 50m cook
  • Serves 4
    Jenny Huang

  • Pairs with Cold Beer

  • Perfect for Celebrations

  • Perfect for Friends


1 20-24 The Better Fish® Barramundi Skinless Fillets
cut into large 1 1/2 inch chunks
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
3 tomato
large, sliced
2 red onion
medium, sliced
1 inch ginger
nub, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic
peeled and diced
5 green birds eye chili pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 green cardamom pods
lightly crushed to open the pods
1 cinnamon stick
snapped into pieces
15 curry leaf
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp

Nutrition per serving

Calories 278.57kcal 14%
Fat 16.27 23%
Carbs 14.31 6%
Sugars 8.35 9%
Protein 20.27 41%
Sodium 624.87mg 31%
Fiber 5.06 18%

* Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet. View all nutrients

Nutrition per serving

Amount per serving

Calories 278.57kcal 14%
Fat 16.27 23%
Saturated Fat 13.24 66%
Monounsaturated Fat 1.12 112%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 50%
Carbs 14.31 6%
Fiber 5.06 18%
Sugars 8.35 9%
Protein 20.27 41%
Cholesterol 43.51mg 15%
Sodium 624.87mg 31%
Calcium 82.99mg 10%
Magnesium 51.92mg 14%
Potassium 867.67mg 25%

% Daily Value*

Iron 3.79mg 27%
Zinc 1.04mg 10%
Phosphorus 130.51mg 19%
Vitamin A 278.9mkg 35%
Thiamin B1 0.09mg 8%
Riboflavin B2 0.04mg 3%
Niacin B3 1.4mg 9%
Vitamin B6 0.15mg 11%
Folic Acid B9 41.15mkg 21%
Vitamin B12 0mkg 0%
Vitamin C 31.33mg 39%
Vitamin D 7.65mkg 153%
Vitamin E 0.87mg 7%
Vitamin K 15mkg 20%

* Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Health score

6.7 /10

Health score

Health Scores are calculated on a 1-10 scale based on nutrient density and USDA recommendations for a healthy diet. A higher Health Score means healthier food. The value based on impact of more than 28 nutrients, here are the main ones:

Nutrients with positive impact

Fiber 5.06   18% DV
Protein 20.27   41% DV
Calcium 82.99mg   10% DV
Magnesium 51.92mg   14% DV
Potassium 867.67mg   25% DV
Iron 3.79mg   27% DV
Vitamin A 278.9mkg   35% DV
Vitamin C 31.33mg   39% DV

Nutrients with negative impact

Saturated Fat 13.24   66% DV
Carbs 14.31   6% DV
Sugars 8.35   9% DV
Cholesterol 43.51mg   15% DV
Sodium 624.87mg   31% DV

Layers of multi-dimensional flavor from the Far East. Taste the bounty of tomato season in this satisfyingly hearty Sri Lankan Tomato Fish Curry.
Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients in this recipe! If you are looking to up your cooking game, starting with whole spices is such a tiny but powerful step to take.
They have a shelf-life much longer than ground spices, and open up “a whole new world of cooking that I previously didn’t dare to try,” says Saveur Award-winning blogger Jenny Huang, who provided this recipe, along with food styling and photography.
Jenny has learned that once you have a properly stocked spice cabinet, it should take you an hour or less to put this curry on the dinner table!


Step 1
In a mixing bowl, gently mix the fish with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Step 2
Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a heavy pan, grind 1 teaspoon mustard seed, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn. Combine half a tomato, 1 red onion, the ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, the chilies, the ground spices, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor, and grind to a thick paste. Set aside.
Step 3
Temper the spices: Add a thin layer of oil to a wok or dutch oven, heat the pan over high heat until hot. Turn the heat down to medium, add the rest of the whole mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorn, green cardamom, and cinnamon. Cook the spices until they are super fragrant and have turned darker. The mustard seeds and cumin will start to pop in the oil. Allow them to pop a bit, be very careful the spices do not burn.
Step 4
Once the spices are done tempering, add the onions, the rest of the diced garlic, and the turmeric. Bring the heat back up to medium high. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the onions and garlic have softened and colored.
Step 5
Pour the paste that was made earlier into the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the sliced tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and the curry leaves, bring up to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook the tomatoes down for another 10-15 minutes.
Step 6
Add the coconut milk. Gently slide the fish, skin-side up into the pan. With both hands, pick up the pan, using a gentle swirling motion to mix the contents around. Rather than using a spatula, this technique keeps the delicate fish from breaking. Bring back up to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook just until the fish is opaque. Finally mix in the tamarind and turn off the heat.
Step 7
Serve immediately with rice.
Suggested sides
  • Braised
    Bok Choi
  • Napa Cabbage

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