Malvani Fish Curry Recipe

When you’re travelling from Mumbai-Goa highway, there is one thing you should definitely try out for lunch or dinner i.e. Malvani Fish Curry.

You will find several restaurants serving this delicious curry with different varieties of fish found in local sea water.

If you don’t like restaurant food, you can simply halt at someone’s place to enjoy this non-vegetarian curry dish. The residents of this region know how to cook the perfect Malvani curry, and you’ll never be disappointed by their fresh fish preparations.

I’ve tasted homemade as well as restaurant style of this dish on numerous occasions. And, I’d certainly recommend you to go for homemade Malvani fish curry if possible. It tastes way better than what you’d get in restaurants at high rates.

Alright now, let’s see the traditional way of cooking this fish curry –

Note – I’ve used Pomfret for the following preparation. It can also be made with other varieties of fish including Bangda (Mackerel), Surmai (Seer Fish/King Fish), Prawns, Lobster, etc.


  • Pomfret – 1, medium sized, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • Onion – 1/2, medium sized, roughly chopped & 1/2, finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
  • Kokam – 2 pieces
  • Dry Red Chillies – 4 nos., soaked in water for 15 minutes
  • Grated Coconut – 1 cup
  • Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander Seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger – 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 2 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Malvani Masala – 2 teaspoon (or as per your taste)
  • Coriander Leaves – 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Curry Leaves – 5-6 nos.
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed


For Masala Paste:

  1. Get the grated coconut, roughly chopped onions, tomato, soaked red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper seeds, garlic (1-1/2 tablespoon), ginger (2 teaspoon) and water in a grinder.
  2. Prepare a fine paste out of it.

Note – To check the fine consistency, get the paste in your thumb and index finger. If you feel grainy texture of coconut pieces, go back to your grinder and make sure it gives smooth consistency.

This is a very important step in the preparation of your fish curry. So, do keep an eye on the paste consistency.

Finally, use this paste directly in onion base as described in the steps below.

For Fish Curry:

1. Heat oil in a kadai on medium-high flame.

2. When the oil turns hot enough, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves in it. Let them crackle for few seconds.

3. Now, add the remaining ginger-garlic in it and stir-fry for a minute.

4. Add the chopped onions and salt in it. Sauté for another couple of minutes.

5. When onions turn translucent, add the red chilli powder, Malvani masala powder and turmeric powder. Reduce the flame to medium and cook the masala for 2 minutes more.

5. Add the red chilli-tomato paste in this onion base and cook till the oil starts leaving edges.

6. Add the Kokam, Pomfret pieces and water (2 cups or as per your desired consistency) in it. Let it simmer for around 10 minutes under the lid.

Check the curry in between and stir gently if required.

7. Switch off the flame. Remove the lid from kadai and add the chopped coriander leaves on top your fish curry.

Serve this lip-smacking Malvani Pomfret curry with Rice Bhakri and Steamed Rice. You may even serve it with vegetable pulao. It tastes equally good.

Isn’t it simple?

You don’t have to be a professional chef to pull off this kind of mind-blowing curry in your small kitchen. Just follow the recipe given above, and you won’t have to worry about anything else.

Malvani Fish Curry Variations for Vegetarians

Whenever I write about some tasty non-vegetarian dishes, I feel sad for the my vegetarian readers. But fortunately, this Malvani curry dish can easily be transformed into a complete veg. curry.

Don’t believe me?

Have a look at these two variations below and see how you can enjoy the same taste without any problem –

Tomato Curry (Saar) –

In local language, it’s commonly as Tomato cha Saar (translates to Tomato’s Curry). If you get the opportunity to visit this location, please ask for this curry in same language.

You won’t find many people who would understand the ‘curry’ you’re looking for in this remote area.

Anyway, let’s jump to the recipe of this tangy and spicy curry –

For the recipe, you’ll have to replace the fish with large sized tomato pieces. That’s it!

When the oil starts leaving the edges in Step 5 above, you should put these tomato pieces into it. And, your job is done here.

The only thing that you’ll need to care is the quantity of tomatoes used in the masala paste. Reduce them to significant amount so that the curry won’t turn sour.

You can also limit the usage of Kokam in this version.

Okra (Bhindi) Curry –

For those who don’t want a simple Tomato curry, go for the Okras!

The tomato variation suggested above is a great recipe to save your time, but it tastes even better if you add the Bhindi pieces.

Here’s what you should do –

  1. Heat some oil (2 teaspoon) in a frying pan on medium flame.
  2. Put your Bhindi pieces in it and stir fry them for 5 minutes.
  3. Once these pieces turn crisp and slightly brown, take them out in a bowl and keep aside.
  4. Prepare the gravy base as discussed above.
  5. When it’s ready, add the stir-fried Bhindi pieces in it and cook for 5-6 minutes or so.

This is how you make Bhindi curry in Malvani style!


Sometimes, I like to experiment in curries with some spices or new ingredients, but I think this delicacy doesn’t require further modifications.

As you can see in my recipe, I haven’t included any inappropriate ingredient just for the sake of experimentation. You will get the exact taste, color and texture in your preparation as you’d find in Malvan or Konkan region of Maharashtra.

I’d also urge you to prepare same recipe as per the instructions because some dishes taste good in their original forms. If you still think of playing with different ingredients, do it in small quantity.

In the end, Malvani fish curry is the one curry that you must taste in India. It may look similar to South Indian fish curries, but you’ll notice the difference in taste and aroma.

So, do try it at your home and let me know your friends & family’s verdict on your preparation.

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