Fish in tomato-yogurt gravy

Thanks to all who gave me suggestions about different fishes at my tilapia in spices post. I will be trying them all soon. This is another dish which I have been preparing, lot many times these days. It is inspired by Kerala style fish curry.

1 cup tomato
1 cup yogurt(curds)
1 tea spn ginger-garlic paste (freshly made)
1 tea spn coriander seeds
2-3 strands coriander leaves
3 cloves
1″ cinnamon
7-8 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn chilli powder

1/2 lb(about 0.22kgs) any white fish fillets
1/2 tea spn chilli powder
A pinch turmeric

If you need more gravy, increase the amount of yogurt and tomato.

Apply chilli powder, turmeric, salt to the fish and leave it for around 30mins.
Shallow fry the pieces on a tava or grill them on a grill pan (I grilled them) till they are done. Take them on a plate and keep aside.
Heat a little oil and add cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds. Powder them.
Heat a little oil in a vessel(kadai) and add cumin seeds. When they pop, add curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, spice powder and fry for few minutes till the raw smell goes off. Now add chilli powder, yogurt(curds), tomatoes, salt and cook till the tomatoes become mushy and gravy becomes thick. (yogurt separates when you heat it, but that is fine, cook till all the water evaporates).
At this point, I picked up few tomato peels from the gravy and ground them to get a better texture to the gravy.
Now add enough water to bring the gravy to required consistency. Carefully slide in the fish. Cook for couple of minutes. Do not mix too much after adding fish, tilapia is very delicate, it will fall apart if mixed again and again. Garnish with coriander leaves and take off the heat.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 20mins

PS: For a better consistency, instead of adding tomatoes and frying them, blanch them in water for few minutes, grind and add.
Do not use yogurt/curd that is very sour.

25 thoughts on “Fish in tomato-yogurt gravy”

  1. You are putting that grill pan to great use, aren’t you? 🙂 I don’t think I’ve made fish curry with yogurt in it, I have to try this.

    Shilpa: Ohh, I didn’t use it for a long time and then I started feeling guilty about buying that pan :). So it has come out now…I hope I will continue using it.

  2. Oh, oh, OH!!! Does this look scrumptious!? That settles it: I have some fish in the freezer and this will be the next gravy dish.
    I have a chicken recipe in which a yoghurt-and-mava gravy is cooked ’til dry like this, and then coconut milk is added to reconstitute. I wonder if it is Keralan too? I know so little of this cuisine. Thanks for sharing and making me absolutely drool!

    Shilpa: Yogurt and mava? Thats a very different combo. No idea if it is a Kerala dish 🙁

  3. About salmon, have you tried rubbing it with lime and salt and letting it sit for 15-30 minutes before cooking it ?

    Shilpa: Hmm..I will have to try that. Thanks Sandeepa.

  4. After seeing your grill pan i got one, never got to use it. This gravy looks delicious. Will try once of these days when i get Tilapia.

  5. hi shilpa,

    which fish did u use? I do not eat fish but my husband and kids do. so don’t know much about fish.

    Shilpa: Tilapia.

  6. Shilpa maayi,

    I’ve been following your blog for quiet some time now. I’ve tried a few recipes and they turned out really good. However, I’ve not seen a Fish Sukhe – authentic Goan style (dunno what they say in English) on your blog yet. Being a GSB, I’m missing it from a long time. Could you please post it, if you have tried it

  7. Hi Shilpa,
    I am regular at ur website only thing is till now I had not responded. I have tried many of recipes and have turned really well. Next on my list is to try ur Olive bread .
    One more thing I had to bring to ur notice was , U have mentioned plural form of Fish is Fishes which is not true as in English language Plural form of FISH is FISH only.
    Hope U dont feel bad about me pointing this out .


    Shilpa: Shwetha, as far as I found, fish is used for same type of fish and when there are different species, fishes is used. See here.

  8. hi….nice recipe….

    i have a question about pizza… can i use cookie sheet to bake pizza? and if i m making 2 small pizzas instead of one large pizza what should be the baking temp and time for each pizza…. (referring to ur garlic flavoured pizza recipe)

    Shilpa: Yes you can use cookie sheet. Same temperature.
    Please next time ask the question at relevant post so that it will be useful for others too.

  9. hi, I love fish in yogurt gravy, and this recipe is so good:-) My mother adds ground coconut paste to this, and it tastes so good with rice. Love your pic…

  10. Shilpa, wanted to ask u- is fish and yogurt a healthy combination? I have always heard my elders say that fish with any milk product is unhealthy for the skin. Do you know anything more on this?

    Shilpa: I don’t know Anunaya. Never heard about it. Infact, whenever we ate fish, we were always given either buttermilk or yogurt as fish curries are usually made very spicy.

  11. though i am a veg, but the tomato-curd combo made me open the recipe, and wow . i am going to try this with paneer.. which i normally do if i find a good gravy recipe. thnks.

  12. SHilpa,

    This looks good. i have a questions though. it has always been believed in our family that mixing dairy with seafood is not good, especially dahi etc.
    my family diligently do not eat ice cream for dessert if they have had any fish.

    Have you heard of this anywhere, is it true or false? i thought you might know as you must be a big fish eater..


    Shilpa: Please read comment 13 above.


    Dear shilpa, annunya , Pb
    I am a great fan of aayis recipe tried a lot everytime it was a success!
    The above article(link) i am posting highlights the bad effects milk and fish !
    Our elders always told us not to eat fish and milk together ! infact they were strict about it! But i am not aware of Yoghurt and fish combo and the effects of it on our digestive system.
    Infact I was also surprised when shilpa posted fish in yoghurt recipe!With due respects and highest regard for shilpa of whom i am a big fan ..can some expert throw some light on this ??? Is it harmful or good combo?? Iwant to try this recipe please.

    Shilpa: Shubha, I have already said it before that fish meals were always accompanied by buttermilk at our place. Have you heard of traditional bengali dishes like dahi mach? this also has yogurt-fish combination. I have also seen many fish kabab/baked fish recipes which have yogurt as main marinade. All I am saying is, this is not a big surprise combo.
    Btw..According to article you mentioned, proteins and carbohydrates should not be had in one meal – as you must have seen, most of the Konkani(and few other south indian) recipes have coconut base. We do have many dishes which have coconut + dried beans/peas + vegetables. We also eat milk(yogurt) and eggs in one meal. So according to me, if we go by this article, all (or most) of Konkani food is just wrong, which I have trouble agreeing with. Even if we take Ayurveda, we had recently consulted a popular ayurvedic doctor for some problem and he had prescribed a strict diet. I do not remember any of these in his list.

  14. Thanks shilpa for a prompt and positive reply and especially for clearing my confusion!! that was very nice and kind of you! Again hats off to you for ur efforts! I was also apprehensive after reading the article whether all konkan food that we usually prepare have combos with coconut base and other proteins are wrong !!
    U rightly pointed out!Thanks for the same!

  15. Shraddha Sohoni Nayak

    Hey shilpa,

    i tried this curry with Black pompret (Halwa) as i could not wait till i get the fish u mentioned here. It turned out to be yummyyy and delicious.. thanks for posting lovely mouth watering recipes..

    Actually i never tried Tilapia fish.. To try this curry again with that fish, i will surely get some other day:)

    Shraddha Sohoni Nayak

  16. Hi Shilpa,

    I am a huge fan of your site…just never left a message before. Does this recipe use onions or not?

    Keep up the good work…your website makes cooking seem simpler for newbies like me 🙂

  17. The recipe looks great and I am planning to try it tonight. One question though – in the last sentence you say blanch the tomatoes and add to the onion mixture, but the main recipe doesn’t mention onions at all. Should I be frying onions as well for the gravy? If so how much? Thanks!


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