Main Dishes

Fish Karahi

A friend who originates from Kenya shared her family recipe with me during one Ramadan (Annual Muslim month of fasting). I have re-created it and made it many times over as it is very popular. The recipe is slightly complex but is worth the excellent result.

Fish Karahi

Print Recipe
Cuisine: Kenyan Asian Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 25 minutes


    Stage 1

  • 2lb fish (e.g Cod, Coley, Haddock) de-scaled or de-skinned cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs fresh or bottled lemon juice
  • 2 tbs crushed dry coriander
  • 2 tbs crushed dry cumin
  • 1 tbs red chillie powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • oil for shallow frying
  • Stage 2

  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups crushed tinned or fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbs fresh crushed ginger
  • 2 tbs fresh crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs ground dry coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbs red chillie powder (or omit for mild)
  • Half cup of water or plain low fat yoghurt
  • 4 tbs fresh sliced green coriander
  • 1 tbs garam masala


Stage 1


Wash fish pieces, pat dry. Add all other ingredients except the oil into a bowl mix well and apply to fish. Marinate covered in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.


Line a non-stick frying with oil, heat to medium, add a few pieces of fish at a time, cook for 3 – 4 mins, turn over once with a fork, cook other side, remove and arrange singly in a flat platter (try not to pile up).

Stage 2


Add the oil to a wide non-stick wok or deep frying pan and heat through


Add tomatoes, ginger garlic, salt, dry coriander, turmeric and red chillie powder. Cook mixture until it thickens and oil separates (bhun).


Lower the fried fish (Stage 1) gently into this mixture, try not to pile up the fish on top of each other. Add the water or yoghurt on top of the fish, tightly cover the pan with the lid aluminium foil fish and cook on very low heat (dhum) for 10 mins.


Sprinkle the fresh sliced green coriander and garam masala. Serve with plain pilao rice, naan, chapattis or French bread and plain yoghurt.

Meal: Main Dishes