Main Dishes

Fish Maryam Masala

This is a recipe that has been in our family in Pakistan and Kenya for quite sometime and has evolved over the years. This is a straightforward and simple method taught to me by my beloved Pupho Maryam of United Kingdom.  It is quite spicy and as its a ‘dry’ dish with no gravy it is not suitable to be served with rice.  I sometimes add thinly sliced potatoes to the frying pan whilst frying the fish, they cook slowly with the fish and provided added flavour to the end result.

Fish Maryam Masala

Print Recipe
Cuisine: Kenyan Asian Pakistani Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15 minutes


  • 2lb white fish (e.g. Cod, Coley, Haddock), de-scaled or de-skinned, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 tbs fresh ground garlic
  • 2 tsp ajwan (lovage seeds)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red chillie powder (omit for mild)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbs tomato puree/paste
  • 2 tbs fresh or bottled lemon juice
  • oil for deep frying



Wash fish under running cold water, drain in a colander for 15 minutes.


Mix all other ingredients except the oil in a small bowl, take a piece of fish, apply this thick mixture roughly on both sides of the fish pieces, lay out in a dish, do the same until all pieces of fish are fully coated.


Keep covered on the windowsill if in a cold country or in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight to marinate the fish.


Heat oil to medium heat in a wok for deep frying pan, add 2 – 3 pieces of fish at a time, when one side is brown, turn over gently using a fish slice and fry other side until cooked.


Remove very carefully and gently into a serving dish, garnish with fresh coriander, sliced onions and garam masala and serve with chips, chappatis or naans.

Meal: Main Dishes