Herring fish curry

Herring fish is similar like sardine, often people get confused for sardine and herring fish. When they are young and small, these fish are called as sardine and when they are older and big they are called as herring fish. Herring fish is not as popular as sardine. Can get from any local fish mongers or in super stores. I got this from tesco, very fresh fish. I love to try different types of fish and their taste. The only problem with this fish is bones, can view in the picture it has lots of tiny bones, can debone the fish and use it as a fillet, but I have cooked it with bones. I bought 1kg of herring fish and made fish curry and shallow fry, which was tasty for me. Can use sea bass, tilapia, mackerel, king fish or any fish you like.

Herring and sardines are very good for us because they provide high level of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats that also play an important role in normal brain development and function. People with high cholesterol, diabetes, breast cancer, memory loss, depression, may also benefit from the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.

This curry is different from other curries, as in this I have used nallennai (sesame oil which is also known as gingely oil, can use any vegetable or sunflower oil), jaggery (gud), coconut milk and spices, which gives curry a different taste.


  • Herring fish – 500 to 600 gms
  • Coriander leaves (few) – 1/3 cup
  • Gingely Oil – 1/3 cup
  • Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp
  • Saunf(aniseed) – 1 tsp
  • Dry chilli – 3
  • Methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 15
  • Onion (chopped) – 1 cup or 1 big
  • Tomato (medium) – 2
  • Green chillies (slit) – 2
  • Garlic cloves (big) – 4
  • Coconut milk – 3/4 cup
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Jaggery (gud) – 2 tsp
  • Tamarind paste (concentrated and thick) – 1 tsp
  • Paste

  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  • Pepper corns – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Water – 1/3 cup


  • Clean the fish and cut into half.
  • Chop onion and 1 tomato, keep it ready. Grind the other tomato to a paste.
  • Grind all the ingredients in a mixer for the paste and keep it aside.
  • Preheat the vessel, add oil, when hot add mustard seeds, methi seeds, saunf, curry leaves, dry chillies, sauté for few seconds, till it starts spluttering.
  • Add onion and cook till it is lightly brown and transparent.
  • Add chilli powder, coriander and turmeric powder, sauté for 5 to 7 sec on medium flame.
  • Add the paste,(can add water 40ml, if needed) sauté for 3min or few min on medium flame, can simmer in between if it starts spluttering.
  • When it starts leaving oil, add tomato paste (1), garlic cloves, mix well, and cook for 1 to 2min.
  • Add coconut milk and water ½ cup, cook on medium flame for 10 to12min, till all the ingredients are cooked well and forms like curry consistency.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies, tamarind paste (concentrated) and fish, mix well.
  • Cook for 5 to 8 mins on medium flame, close the lid and cook.
  • The curry starts leaving the oil, add jaggery (gud), salt and coconut milk 1/3rd cup , mix well(just slightly shake the vessel, do not mix it with a spoon), cook on simmer for 10 to 12min on simmer flame, by closing the lid.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with plain rice and fried fish.


  • Can add little water while adding dry spices like chilli powder, coriander powder.
  • Can reduce chilli as per your taste.
  • If the curry is very thin, cook for some time till the curry is as per your consistency.
  • Can use dry tamarind which is available to you (soak in warm water for few minutes, and strain by removing its pulp). Add in the curry as per your taste.

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