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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 4.11 / 5 (9 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
40 min

Cyrus Todiwala cooks a simple Parsee-style gravy that is then turned into a fish curry


1. For the gravy: heat the oil in a casserole and fry the cardamom, cloves and cassia bark for 2-3 minutes, or until the cloves begin to swell. Add the red chilli and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the spices begin to darken.

2. Remove the spices and chillies to a small plate and add the green chilli, ginger and garlic to the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the garlic begins to turn golden, then add the onions and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are softened.

3. In a bowl, mix together the cumin, coriander and turmeric and mix with 150-200ml of water. Add this to the casserole dish. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat.

4. For the fish curry: stir the coconut milk into the pan of gravy until smooth and creamy. Bring to the boil, then add the prawns (or fish of your choice) and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked through.

5. Serve the fish curry with steamed rice.


  • 2-3 tbsp rapeseed oil or sunflower oil
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods, squeezed open
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 3 inch piece cassia bark
  • 2 large dried red chillies
  • 2 long fresh green chillies, sliced lengthways into four slices
  • 3 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2-3 onions, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4-5 tomatoes, pulped (or use good canned tomatoes)

For the fish curry

  • 1 tins coconut milk
  • 300 g prawns, (or fish of your choice) per person

Tips and suggestions

This masala can form the basis for many using meat fish poultry and vegetables. It is simple and easy to prepare and the old-fashioned pots and fires they had in India were ideal for this dish to cook for hours at a time. It then became self preserved as there was no refrigeration around. If made well and cooked slowly it will easily last for a week after cooking if well chilled and packed in an airtight container. If frozen in small batches it can last months. The best fish is any white fleshed fish such as Pollock, coley etc (as in most Indian cooking), as well as sardines and mackerel, and high end fish as well such as prawns, mussels etc.

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Latest Comment



SDT1964 SDT1964  Posted 30 Aug 2012 3:14 PM

Gorgeous, I cheated with lots of things e.g. thai sauce from a jar instead of the tumeric mixture, not fresh chilis but flakes... but it still came out great. Oh and used some random fish that was frozen before, but poached as per packet in the 'gravy' - obviously this is a very forgiving dish!

Scottydog Scottydog  Posted 10 Apr 2010 9:09 PM

Made this yesterday with prawns. Really excellent, the best curry flavour I have made. Will make it again and possibily use meat instead of fish.

PJN47 PJN47  Posted 10 Sep 2009 9:32 AM

The amount of cumin is not listed the the ingredients.

JohnB29608 JohnB29608 Posted 01 Sep 2009 2:35 PM

made this with prawn last night as part of indian style buffet for guests. really good curry to have as an alternative to my chicken madras, as it is light, flavourful and not too spicy.

copsy copsy Posted 08 Aug 2009 11:26 AM

Made this last night and it was delicious, I used Pollack, served it with garlic naan, easy to make and you could taste all the spices and tomato but still taste the fish, will make again and again, lovely.

Scalywitch Scalywitch Posted 09 May 2009 5:58 PM

Thanks for spotting this, I have now amended the recipe. Happy cooking!

Mike - UKTV Mike - UKTV Posted 30 Apr 2009 3:28 PM

I will answer my own question here, have emailed the lovely Cyrus and he says it is a printing error, it should be water not oil you mix the dry spices with.

Scalywitch Scalywitch Posted 29 Apr 2009 3:40 PM

In step 3 it says mix dry soices with 150-200ml oil, didn't see on the tv, is this correct?

Scalywitch Scalywitch Posted 23 Apr 2009 11:54 AM