Fish in Masala Recipe from Kenya with Cilantro, Garlic, and Tamarind Water

Fish in Masala

Fish in Masala Recipe from Kenya with Cilantro, Garlic, and Tamarind Water
Region / culture: Kenya | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Fish in Masala
Fish in Masala

Fish in Masala is a delicious and flavorful dish that is popular in many South Asian countries. This recipe combines the delicate taste of fish with a spicy and aromatic masala sauce, creating a dish that is sure to impress your family and friends.


The origins of Fish in Masala can be traced back to the coastal regions of South Asia, where fish is a staple food. The combination of spices and herbs used in this dish reflects the rich culinary traditions of the region, and the dish has been enjoyed for generations.


How to prepare

  1. Grind all the spices together except Onion and fenugreek. Fry the Onion in oil.
  2. Add the ground spices and fenugreek. Add the pieces of fish and simmer on low heat. Cover and cook until tender. Add a small amount of water if needed.


  • Use different types of fish such as salmon or tilapia
  • Add vegetables like bell peppers or peas for added texture and flavor
  • Experiment with different spices to create your own unique masala blend

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Use fresh fish for the best flavor and texture

- Adjust the amount of chili according to your spice preference

- Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become tough

- Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness

Serving Suggestions

Serve Fish in Masala with steamed rice or naan bread for a complete meal. A side of cucumber raita or mint chutney can also complement the dish well.

Cooking Techniques

Grind the spices to a fine paste for a smooth and flavorful sauce

- Simmer the fish on low heat to allow the flavors to meld together

- Cover the pan while cooking to retain the moisture and prevent the fish from drying out

Ingredient Substitutions

Use Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt for a creamier sauce

- Substitute fresh tomatoes with canned diced tomatoes for convenience

- Use dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) if fresh fenugreek is not available

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the masala sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply reheat the sauce and add the fish when ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves and a wedge of lemon for a pop of color. Serve the Fish in Masala in a decorative serving dish for an elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Fish in Masala with a light and refreshing salad or a side of sautéed vegetables. A glass of chilled white wine or a cold beer can also complement the dish well.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat the dish in a microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Calories: 200 per serving


Carbohydrates: 5g per serving


Fats: 8g per serving


Proteins: 25g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, and Calcium


This recipe contains fish and dairy (yogurt), which may be allergens for some individuals.


Fish in Masala is a nutritious dish that is high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. It is a healthy and delicious option for a balanced meal.


Fish in Masala is a flavorful and aromatic dish that is perfect for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner. With a blend of spices and herbs, this dish is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Enjoy this delicious and nutritious dish with your loved ones today!

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the joy I felt when I first stumbled upon this recipe for Fish in Masala. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Mrs. Patel in her cozy kitchen. As we chatted over cups of steaming chai, she suddenly got up and started rummaging through her spice cabinet.

"Ah, I have just the recipe for you to try," she exclaimed, pulling out a faded yellow recipe card. "It's my mother's famous Fish in Masala recipe. You must give it a go!"

I watched intently as Mrs. Patel carefully explained each step of the recipe to me. The blend of aromatic spices, the tangy tomatoes, and the succulent fish all came together in perfect harmony. I couldn't wait to try it out myself.

As soon as I got home, I gathered all the necessary ingredients and set to work in my own kitchen. The scent of cumin, coriander, and turmeric filled the air as I sautéed onions and garlic in a hot pan. I added tomatoes, ginger, and a medley of spices, letting them simmer and blend together into a rich, flavorful masala sauce.

Next came the star of the dish - the fish. I chose a fresh fillet of tilapia, marinating it in a mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, and more spices before gently placing it in the bubbling masala sauce. The fish soaked up all the flavors, becoming tender and flaky with each passing minute.

As I served the Fish in Masala to my family that evening, I held my breath in anticipation. The first bite was met with satisfied smiles and nods of approval. The dish was a hit, and I knew I had stumbled upon a recipe that would become a staple in my own kitchen.

Over the years, I continued to perfect the Fish in Masala recipe, tweaking the spices here and there to suit my family's tastes. I shared the recipe with friends and neighbors, each time receiving rave reviews and requests for more.

One day, I decided to enter my beloved Fish in Masala recipe in a local cooking competition. The competition was fierce, with chefs from all over town showcasing their culinary skills. I nervously presented my dish to the judges, hoping that it would stand out amongst the rest.

To my surprise and delight, my Fish in Masala won first place in the competition. The judges praised the dish for its bold flavors, delicate balance of spices, and tender fish. I beamed with pride, knowing that I had truly mastered this recipe that had brought me so much joy over the years.

As word of my award-winning Fish in Masala spread, I began receiving requests for cooking demonstrations and classes. I happily obliged, sharing the recipe with eager learners who wanted to recreate the magic in their own kitchens.

Years passed, and my Fish in Masala recipe became a cherished tradition in my family. It was requested for birthdays, holidays, and special occasions, each time bringing back fond memories of that warm summer day when Mrs. Patel first shared the recipe with me.

Now, as I pass on the recipe to my grandchildren, I do so with love and pride. I know that this Fish in Masala recipe will continue to be a source of joy and connection for generations to come, just as it has been for me. And as I watch my grandchildren create the dish with their own hands, I can't help but smile, knowing that the tradition lives on.


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