Skip to Content

Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry(Thalapath malu mirisata).

Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry(Thalapath malu mirisata).

A Sri Lankan fish curry made with fresh thalapath fish(sailfish)cooked in Lankan spices and condiments pounded in a mortar and pestle for maximum flavor.

The best spicy fish curry you can make if you love seafood .

This fish curry is cooked without coconut milk so you’ll definitely feel the heat from this seafood dish.

Ask any Sri Lankan and they’ll tell you, they won’t have it any other way because it’s a taste of home.

Warning!

This spicy Sri Lankan fish curry(thalapath malu mirisata)curry packs a whole lot of heat and there is not a single drop of coconut milk to bring it down.

Your first indication of the spiciness of the dish would be the color of the gravy which takes on a dark, deep red hue.

That’s how much chilli powder we use in the dish.

Yet, it’s one of the popular and favorite ways of cooking fish.

All the flavors of an island surrounded by sea, cooked in a clay pot in typical Sri Lankan manner. 

And if you enjoy spicy food that hits the so-called spot, makes tiny beads of sweat pop up on your forehead while making your ears and back of your neck go warm,

Then my friend, this is THE authentic Sri Lankan fish curry to serve.

 Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry(malu mirisata). fresh fish cooked in Lankan spices and condiments pounded in a mortar and pestle for maximum flavor.#spicy #fish #srilankan #glutenfree #lowcarb #curry #fish

Type of fish to cook the red chilli fish curry.

Any fish that has a firmness to it would do, I’m using chunks of Thalapath(sailfish) for reasons mentioned below,

  • convenience.
  • It’s firm enough to cook for a long time and not fall apart.
  • I don’t need to worry about the bones since I mostly feed teens and kids.
  • I can cook without the skin(there’s one particular child of mine who hates the skin of the fish).
  • It tastes great and cooks well with the ingredients used in this recipe. 

What in the world is Goraka?

It’s also known as Brindleberry, Indian tamarind and in Sinhalese,”goraka”.

The key taste it brings to the dish is a subtle sourness.

Unlike Tamarind which gives off the same taste but is sourer and better suited for chicken and Beef.

Goraka works well in tasting seafood curries like this spicy red chilli fish curry(malu mirisata).

Is there a substitute for goraka?

You can definitely use Tamarind if you can’t find goraka but use it sparingly.

Maybe 3-4 pods of tamarind pulp(if using paste 1 teaspoon should do) to the quantity of fish mentioned here.

How to add tamarind as a substitute for goraka.

If using tamarind paste, add it the same way as goraka to make the spice paste.

If using Tamarind with the seed then simply soak the pods with 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes, squeeze the seeds out.

Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry(malu mirisata). fresh fish cooked in Lankan spices and condiments pounded in a mortar and pestle for maximum flavor.#spicy #fish #srilankan #glutenfree #lowcarb #curry #fish

Save the recipe to your favorite Pinterest board!

Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry(malu mirisata). fresh fish cooked in Lankan spices and condiments pounded in a mortar and pestle for maximum flavor.#spicy #fish #srilankan #glutenfree #lowcarb #curry #fish
Can I add coconut milk to reduce  the heat?

Hmm, if you really want to stick to the original recipe, coconut milk won’t do but if there are family members who prefer non-spicy food then yes but I still can’t guarantee it won’t be spicy.

Instead, try making the thalapath(sail fish) coconut milk fish curry given below on “more fish recipes”.

It’s a creamy non-spicy fish curry even kids love.

Utensils and appliances needed.

chopping board and knife

Spice blender attachment to be used to grind the spice paste for convenience or mortar and pestle.

Medium-sized clay pot or pan to cook the fish curry.

More fish curry!

Thalapath coconut milk fish curry.

Canned fish curry Sri Lankan style.

Sri Lankan ambulthiyal(sour fish)curry.

Sri Lankan pepper fish(canned fish)curry.

Storing- use glass containers with a lid or old plastic containers to refrigerate as the spice paste might stain new containers. use within 2 days if refrigerated.

Freezing-I would advice not freezing the fish curry. 

Heating- the fish curry can be heated over a stove top over low-medium heat. avoid using the microwave as your microwave will retain the fish curry smell.

Stop food waste by- cook only as much as you need. you can refrigerate and use the fish within a few days.

RECIPE DIFFICULTY -EASY

How to make Sri Lankan redfish curry (Thalapath malu mirisata).

Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.

Ingredients

Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

goraka pieces(substitute with tamarind and how to do it is given above)

A handful of curry leaves(used for both spice paste and curry)

2-inch ginger piece 

4 cloves of Garlic

5 shallots(can substitute with regular onions)

1-inch cinnamon piece

2 tablespoons of chilli powder(1/2 teaspoon more if you can handle it)

4-6 peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 medium-sized green chilli whole

2-3 inch pandan leaf

500g of fresh Thalapath(sailfish)but any firm fish with or without skin would do.

1 and 1/2 cup of water

Method

In 1/4 cup of water soak the goraka pieces(4, substitute with tamarind and how to do it is given above)for 10 minutes.

Do not throw the water when done).

soaking goraka to make the fish curry.

Wash the firm chunks of sail fish(thalapath 500g) thoroughly in water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Twice would be sufficient.

washing the thalapath to make the fish curry.

Squeeze excess water from goraka.

Place it in a mortar(can use your spice blender attachment as well)with garlic(4 cloves), ginger(2-inch piece), some curry leaves(5), shallots(5), cinnamon(1″), chili powder(2 tbs), turmeric(1/2 tsp), peppercorns(4-6), salt to season.

preparing all the ingredients to make maku mirisata.

Pound all ingredients until you have a coarse paste.

spice blend to make the red chilli fish curry.

Place the chunks of fish in a medium-sized cooking pan, rub the spice paste over the fish chunks thoroughly.

Add 1 tablespoon of water to the mortar and collect all the remaining spices in it and pour this to the marinating fish as well. 

Marinate the fish for 10 minutes.

marinating the fish with the spice paste to make the sri lankan fish curry.

Once the fish is marinated, place the pan over medium heat.

Add the extra pandan leaf, leftover curry leaves and green chilli(2) to the pan followed by the water used to soak the goraka, cook for five minutes. 

Adding extra chillies pandan leaf to the fish curry.

Add water(this can be 1 cup to 1 and 1/2 cup depending on how much of a thin gravy you want).

Cover with a lid and let the curry simmer over low-medium heat until fish is cooked thoroughly.

adding water to the fish curry.

Try not to stir the gravy with a spoon if you feel the fish needs to be covered with the gravy.

Hold the pan on both sides with heat pads and slowly tilt and swirl the pan so the gravy moves over the fish, season with Salt if necessary.

Cook for 30-40 minutes until gravy reduces and slightly thickens.

The gravy would not be thick or creamy as when you cook with coconut milk but turns to a deep color than it was, to begin with.

Serve warm with your favorite rice and curry dishes. 

Yield: 4

Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry(Thalapath malu mirisata).

Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry(malu mirisata). fresh fish cooked in Lankan spices and condiments pounded in a mortar and pestle for maximum flavor.#spicy #fish #srilankan #glutenfree #lowcarb #curry #fish

A lip-smacking fish curry for seafood lovers. 

 

Fresh thalapath(sailfish)cooked in Lankan spices and condiments pounded in a mortar and pestle for maximum flavor.

 

This fish curry is cooked without coconut milk so you’ll definitely feel the heat from this seafood dish.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Instructions

    In 1/4 cup of water soak the goraka pieces(4), substitute with tamarind and how to do it is given above)for 10 minutes.

    Do not throw the water when done.

    Wash the firm chunks of sail fish(thalapath 500g) thoroughly in water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

    Twice would be sufficient.

    Squeeze excess water from goraka and place it in a mortar(can use your spice blender attachment as well)with garlic(4 cloves), ginger(2-inch piece), some curry leaves(5), shallots(5), cinnamon(1″), chili powder(2 tbs), turmeric(1/2 tsp), peppercorns(4-6), salt to season.

    Pound all ingredients until you have a coarse paste.

    Place the chunks of fish in a medium-sized cooking pan, rub the spice paste over the fish chunks thoroughly, add 1 tablespoon of water to the mortar and collect all the remaining spices in it and pour this to the marinating fish as well. 

    Marinate the fish for 10 minutes.

    Once the fish is marinated, place the pan over medium heat.

    Add the extra pandan leaf, leftover curry leaves and green chilli(2) to the pan followed by the water used to soak the goraka, cook for five minutes. 

    Add water(this can be 1 cup to 1 and 1/2 cup depending on how much of a thin gravy you want).

    Cover with a lid and let the curry simmer over low-medium heat until fish is cooked thoroughly.

    Try not to stir the gravy with a spoon if you feel the fish needs to be covered with the gravy.

     

    Hold the pan on both sides with heat pads and slowly tilt and swirl the pan so the gravy moves over the fish, season with Salt if necessary.

     

    Cook for 30-40 minutes until gravy reduces and slightly thickens.

     

    The gravy would not be thick or creamy as when you cook with coconut milk but turns to a deep color than it was, to begin with.

    Serve warm with your favorite rice and curry dishes. 


    Have you made this recipe?

 

Please don’t forget to rate the recipe on the recipe card so other readers find it helpful and show me your recipe by tagging me #islandsmile178 on Instagram.

Notes

How to add tamarind

as a substitute for goraka.

 

If using tamarind paste, add it the same way as goraka to make the spice paste.

 

If using Tamarind with the seed then simply soak the pods with 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes, squeeze the seeds out.

 

Add this tamarind juice at the time you marinate the fish with the spice paste.

Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
It’s free and on the blog, for you to try anytime.

All I ask is that you do not save it on any apps, recipe boxes or online groups which will affect me as a food blogger and the growth of this blog. I would appreciate if you only share the link rather than the full recipe. 

All images and text on this website are protected by copyright.


Creamy-fragrant Butter chicken(Indian chicken makhani), a step-by-step guide to show how easy it is to create this restaurant worthy popular curry. a delicious dish for any occasion from lunch to dinner or gathering of friends-islandsmile.org
Creamy-fragrant Butter chicken( Indian murgh makhani).
← Read Last Post
Sri Lankan spicy dhal fry, give your dhal curry cooked coconut milk a break, try a spicy version of for a change.-islandsmile.org
Spicy Sri Lankan chilli dhal fry(vegetarian,vegan).
Read Next Post →

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Nima

Sunday 11th of August 2019

Delicious!!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe