Easy Fish Korma





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When lacking in time, and fancy some mildly spiced fish curry, this fish korma recipe is easy to make and delicious to eat for the whole family. 

What is a Korma

There are different types of korma, some made with coconut milk, few with nut pastes and others with cream.

There is a pattern in all the above choice of sauce in case you have noticed.

It is the use of a creamy sweet sauce which gives it a thick smooth consistency.

This thick consistency is achieved by making a korma paste,  which is made by grinding from a selection of thickening ingredients like cashew nuts, poppy seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds with or without whole spices and fresh aromatics like onions, ginger and garlic.

Korma, refers to any dish that is mild and creamy in texture.

It is a great starter recipe and is much easier to make than you think.

All you need is a handful of spices and ingredients that you can easily buy from any supermarket.

Fish Korma Is A Good Startup Dish

Most may have already heard or even tasted chicken korma.

It is also relatively easy to make since korma dishes cut out on the sauteing part of cooking the onions for a long time till it turns golden brown in colour.

Since fish takes much less time to cook than chicken, this dish cooks faster.

If you want to cook an Indian weekday dish or perhaps are at the beginning stages of cooking Indian then this Fish Korma recipe is a good dish to start with.

Being more aromatic than spicy, any Korma dish is also my recommended choice of dish for any first-timer Indian restaurant visitor and also for children.

The sweet and creamy texture is palatable to most.

Cooking Notes For Making Fish Korma at Home

Here are a few pointers and tips before you make this recipe.

  1. Break the recipe and the cooking process into different parts for ease:

Part 1 –  involves marinating the fish ( takes 1 minute)

Part 2 – pan-frying the fish (5 – 8 mins, depending on the type of fish. This is also an optional step, I do not suggest pan-frying if using fish fillets instead of steaks like I have in this recipe)

Part 3 – making the cashew paste ( 2 mins, you can also use powdered almond and soak in water and cream)

Part 4 – making the onion, tomato masala paste ( 8 mins to fry and blend into paste)

Part 5 – putting everything together to finish the curry. ( 10 mins)

2. You may already by this point give up on making this dish simply by looking at the parts above. Don’t be put off by it.

All the tasks above do not take much time, I have also written the approx time it will take to complete each task. In whole it will take you 30 – 40 mins to make this dish.

3. I suggest buying a firm white fish for this recipe. I have used an Indian carp (rohu) which I was very lucky to find in my local ethnic store.

Fish like tilapia or red snapper fillet goes very well to make this recipe.

4. It is difficult to grind cashew kernels into paste unless you have a good blender like this Ninja Compact food processor that makes the job so much easier.

You can instead use powdered almond and mix it with 1/4 cup water and 2 tbsp cream. 

5. Unlike most Indian dishes which require you to cook onions until it reaches golden brown in colour, you only need to saute the onions for 5 -7 mins until the raw smell goes away.

6. Always add 2 tbsp of water while frying cashew or any nut paste from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

7. Don’t bother with chopping onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic fine. You will be blending it, so rough but even cuts will do.

8. This recipe uses only whole spices. The list of spices used in this recipe are:

  • Green cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Black peppercorn
  • Red chilli powder
  • Bayleaf

Step By Step Fish Korma Recipe

Step 1

Prepare the separate components of the Fish Korma recipe into parts.

Part 1 – Marinade & Fry Fish  (optional step, you do not need to fry fish if using boneless fish fillet)

Marinade fish with salt and turmeric powder and set aside for 10 mins

Shallow fry the fish in 3 tablespoons of oil and set aside.

Part 2 – Make cashew paste ( read notes for alternatives to cashew paste)

Take cashew nuts and grind it to make a paste with water. Set aside

Part 3 – Make the Onion Tomato Masala

Heat oil and stir fry, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes.

Transfer the onion mixture to a blender, cool, add a little water and blend into a paste. Set aside.

Step 2 

Heat oil in a pan and add a bay leaf. Add cashew paste and stir fry with water for a minute.

Step 3

Add the onions paste and red chilli powder to the cashew and continue to fry for another 3 minutes, adding water from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Step 4

Add water to the cashew, onion masala and bring to boil

Step 5 

Add the fish pieces to the boiling masala and cover and cook for 5- 8 mins until fish is cooked.

Step 6 

Serve hot with plain boiled rice.

Indian fish korma recipe pinterest image


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Any firm white fish - 6-8 pieces
Onion - 1, roughly chopped
Garlic - 3, roughly chopped
Ginger - 1 inch, roughly chopped
Tomatoes - 1 large, roughly chopped
Cashewnuts - 12 - 15 kernels
Salt to taste
Vegetable or sunflower oil - 4 tbsp
Green cardamom - 2
Cloves - 4
Black peppercorn - 7-9
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Bayleaf - 1
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 - 1 tsp or more if you like it spicy
*Ingredients Needed


Place the raw fish in a bowl and add salt and 1 tsp of turmeric to marinate the fish, keep aside for 10 mins.
Put the cashew nuts in a blender and make into paste with some water and set aside.
Add two tbsp on oil to a pan. Add the whole spices, that is 2 cardamom,4 cloves, cinnamon stick, 8 peppercorns and sizzle for 5- 10 secs.
Next, add onions and saute for about 2 minutes
Now add the ginger and garlic and saute for another 4 -5 minutes
Now add the tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes become pulpy.
Remove for heat and let it cool.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend into a paste. Add a little water if required. Set aside
In the same pan, heat 3 tbp of oil. Add the bay leaf to the oil.
Now add the cashew paste and stir fry for 2 minutes adding a little water from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Now add the onion-tomato paste made earlier, 1 tsp chilli powder, salt and add it to the cashew paste.
Continue to fry for another 2 minutes adding water to prevent the mixture from sticking and burning.
Add 1 cup warm water to the pan and bring to boil.
Once the sauce comes to a boil add the fish pieces, cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
Remove from heat and serve hot with plain boiled rice.