Surmai Fish Curry Recipe [Malvani Style]

Finally, I got some time to write about my favorite fish curry!

I have been a huge fan of malvani style Surmai fish curry and wanted to share its recipe with you all.

Surmai is also known as Indo-Pacific king mackerel or simply king fish. It is one of the costliest seafoods that you’d find in restaurants around western coast of Maharashtra.

The popularity of this fish has increased among seafood lovers over the years, as it doesn’t have typical fish-like smell and tastes quite smooth & delicate if served fresh.

It should be served with steamed rice or bhakri/chapati.

There can’t be any better combination than this for such curry, so don’t even think of anything else.

Preparation Tips

If you want to enjoy this dish with authentic flavors, you should definitely check these quick tips.

Marinated Fish –

As you know, the marinated fish always tastes better as compared to raw fish.

Hence, you can also marinate Surmai for this curry. Just rub some salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice on the flesh and let it rest for half an hour.

Kokam Alternatives –

I know it would be difficult for some of you to find Kokam in your regular grocery store. Therefore, you can completely omit it from the following recipe and replace it with one of these two alternatives –

Dry Mango Powder :- Add 1-2 teaspoons of this powder in curry and check the taste. (Add more if needed.)

Lemon Juice :- It’s not the best alternative, but it will work to some extent. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice if tomatoes used in the curry are not very sour.

Tamarind is also a sour ingredient, but do not use it for this recipe. It may change the color of your final dish.

Total Time – 30 minutes

Serves – 2-3 people


  • Surmai Fish – 2-3 pieces, cleaned
  • Dry Red Chillies – 5-6
  • Cumin Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
  • Coriander Seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Freshly Grated Coconut – 1 cup
  • Onion – 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
  • Tomato – 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic – 1 teaspoon, finely chopped
  • Kokam – 1 or 2 pieces
  • Curry Leaves – 5-6
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Coriander Leaves – 2 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste


To prepare this recipe, you will have to make the masala base. So, here’s what you need to do –

For Masala Paste:

1. In a grinder, add the chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste, grated coconut, dry red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper corns and water.

2. Grind these ingredients into very fine paste. Please check the consistency in between. If it’s coarse, grind again till you get smooth paste.

3. Keep it aside and start with the curry preparation.

For Fish Curry:

1. Heat oil in a wok on medium flame.

2. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, garlic and curry leaves in it. Wait till they splutter.

3. Now, add the masala paste that you prepared earlier and stir it well along with other ingredients.

4. Add some salt, red chill powder and turmeric powder in this thick mixture. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes and keep the lid on.

5. When the mixture starts to leave oil from edges, add around 2 cups of water, Kokam and Surmai pieces into it.

6. Gently stir the curry and put the lid on again.

7. After a couple of minutes, reduce the flame and cook this curry for 10-12 minutes on low-medium flame.

8. Your fish curry is almost ready. Check the taste and consistency before serving it.

9. If everything seems fine, garnish it with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Variations for Surmai Fish Curry

Wanna experiment with this curry? Try these variations –

Without Coconut –

There’s always an alternate way!

Surmai Fish Curry can also be prepared without grated coconut paste. You may use onion-tomato paste to cook the curry.

Tikhale Style –

Usually, Tikhale is made with Bangda (Mackerel) fish, but there is no compulsion to make it with same fish. It can be made with any other fish as well.

If you wish to make it with Surmai, you may do so. The only difference in Tikhale and the aforementioned recipe is the change in quantity of ingredients.

While making Surmai Tikhale, you will need to add more grated coconut and red chillies in the masala paste. And, do not pour too much water when the curry is simmering. It should always have slightly thick consistency and dark red color.

Serve it hot with rice or bhakri.

5 comments… add one
  • Prachee Mhatre

    Delicious! Helps to make perfect malvani fish curry. Thank you.

  • Purvi

    I’m pure veg, but my son is fond of non veg. specially fish. And your recipe is awesome…??

  • Smita

    Tried it. Came out great. Thanks for the lovely recipe.

  • Debapriya Chakraborty

    Awesome recipe. Best part is the alternative guides provided….so I could cook without Kokum and Coconut

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