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Catfish Curry

Catfish cooked in a Karahi style gravy with tomatoes and aromatic Indian spices

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Keyword Catfish Curry, Fish Karahi
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 lbs Boneless Catfish Fillets Cut into 2-3 inch wide strips
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Paste divided
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder or according to taste
  • Salt according to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil divided
  • 6-7 Roma Tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder optional
  • 1 tsp Roasted Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp Roasted Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Chillies
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro chopped
  • 6-7 Green Chillies Slit
  • Ginger Juliennes For Garnishing


  1. Wash fish pieces and sprinkle flour all over them. Let the fish rest for 10-15 minutes and wash again. Leave in a colander for some to drain excess water. Pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Marinate fish with 1 tbsp garlic paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder (or according to taste) and salt for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Heat about 1/4 cup oil in a wide frying pan. Sear the fish on high heat for only about a minute on each side.

  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large flat bottomed wok or karahi. Add 1 tbsp garlic paste followed by chopped tomatoes. Fry for high heat for about 3-4 minutes.

  5. Add salt, red chilli powder, Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric. Remember that the marinade also contains salt and chilli powder, so add accordingly. Cover the pan and cook on medium-low heat for around 15 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and mushy.

  6. Add roasted cumin powder, roasted coriander powder, crushed red chillies and fry for a couple of minutes until oil separates from the tomatoes.

  7. Add the fried fish pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning gently once in between. Check and adjust seasoning.

  8. Add half of the cilantro and green chillies. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 3-4 minutes or until fish is fully cooked.

  9. Garnish with remaining cilantro and ginger juliennes. Serve hot with boiled rice or rotis.

Recipe Notes

  • For roasting cumin, put cumin seeds in a frying pan and dry roast on low heat until color changes and they turn aromatic. Keep stirring often and do not roast on high heat so that the seeds do not burn and are roasted evenly. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
  • Coriander seeds can be roasted in the same way.
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder has a mild taste and gives a nice bright color to the gravy.