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Mackerel Madras

A tangy, tomato curry with South Indian spices.

Serves: 4 - 6

Mackerel Madras


Indian fish dishes are still something you rarely see in the UK, which is a shame as there’s such a variety of delicious meals. Every region of India does it differently! Fish in India can be served with a thin coconut sauce; a tangy, hot sauce made with mustard seeds; a savoury tomato sauce; or just simply fried or baked. Check out our cookbook for more fish dish inspiration.

For this recipe, we've taken the tomato route, using our warming, earthy Madras Curry Pack, which is chock full of South Indian spices. The key ingredient is the tamarind puree, which cuts through these other flavours to add a refreshing tang. This dish is complemented perfectly by a strongly flavoured fish like mackerel, which we prepared here by cutting at intervals along the length of the (pre-gutted) fish, straight through the spine, to create small steaks. Other meaty fish like monkfish, swordfish or prawns are lovely too (but not as easy on the wallet)!

Here's how to whip it up:

  1. Heat a pan to a medium heat, empty in the Madras Curry Pack and dry fry the spices for 3 - 4 minutes, to intensify their flavour.
  2. Add the water, tomatoes and tamarind puree.
  3. Mix well, cover and leave to gently cook for 15 minutes. If you can, turn off the heat and leave the sauce for a few hours, or even overnight, to really let the flavours develop.
  4. Stir in the mackerel, cover and cook for 5 - 6 minutes.
  5. Add the peas and cook for a further 2 - 3 minutes, until the fish and peas are cooked through.
  6. Season to taste with salt and garnish with fresh coriander.

Plain or pilau rice is a perfect accompaniment, along with a simple side dish like the Piyaz Gobhi or just some steamed or stir-fried greens.