August 22, 2010

Fish with Indian Yogurt Sauce


I am so excited about this dish that it borders on the insane. For years, literally years, I’ve had this fabulous Indian cookbook full of tantalizing photos and gorgeous recipes that I’ve been unable to use, simply because of one elusive spice blend…garam masala. Garam masala is a mixture of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, ginger, mace, green cardamom, black cardamom, nutmeg, and bay leaves.

Phew, allow me catch my breath.

Anyway, garam masala is called for in practically every recipe in this cookbook and I couldn’t find it anywhere! That is, until I came upon one of my favorite stores, the truly marvelous Rani’s World Foods, an international-style grocery store in Northwest Houston. They have an entire aisle of freshly ground Indian spices, so I was finally able to stock up on some garam masala, as well as tons of other spices. Trust me, there will be a whole post dedicated to my adventures at Rani’s very soon. That place is beyond amazing.

So, with my beloved garam masala in hand, I set out to finally make a recipe from this cookbook, choosing Fish with Indian Yogurt Sauce. What’s so great about this dish is the fact that it can be adjusted to your tastes. If you want things nice and spicy, leave in all the chili seeds. If you want things a bit more mild, just leave ‘em out. Either way, it’s incredibly delicious.

To start off, chop up a nice chunk of ginger.


Then chop up some green chilis, which to me means jalapeños. Lots of jalapeños. Again, if you want to amp up the spice, you can use serranos instead.


Next comes some finely chopped garlic.


Then a bunch of chopped onion.


Toss the onions in a large pan and sauté until soft and slightly browned.

onions cooking

Grab a lovely mixture of cumin, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric.

spices turmeric Hello turmeric, my little friend. You stained my cutting board with your orange powder. It’s okay, I love you anyway.

At this point, you’ll realize that you were just talking to a spice. If you’re like me, you may consider the idea of getting out more.

While you plan a much-needed social outing, add the spices, garlic, and chilies to the pot.

spiced onions

Give that a good stir and grab a handful of the ridiculously delicious spicy cashews that you bought at Rani’s and have a little snack. Cooking works up an appetite!

cashews I could eat these things every day.

Next comes the yogurt.


Please be advised that I ended up using a lot more yogurt than this. It all depends on how thick you want the sauce. That being said, add the yogurt to the pot and give it a stir.

yogurt mixed

See, at this point I thought the sauce was definitely not creamy enough. So, besides adding more yogurt, I also added a few splashes of half-and-half to thin it out a bit.

real half and half half added

See? That’s much more what I was looking for, seeing as I was going to serve it over rice, which I wanted to have lots of yummy sauce to absorb.

Now all that’s left is the fish! Toss it in, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the fish is flaky.

fish added

And there you have it! Incredibly easy, incredibly yummy Indian food.

distant shot

Grab yourself some garam masala and get cooking!

Fish with Indian Yogurt Sauce

Recipe adapted from “Fish in Yogurt Sauce” from The Food of India

Printable Recipe

2 pounds skinless, firm white fish fillets, such as halibut or cod

3 tablespoons oil

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 1/2 cups thick, plain yogurt

few splashes of half-and-half, to taste

4 green chilies, finely chopped

cilantro leaves, for garnish

salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the fish fillets into two pieces and pat them dry, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened and lightly browned. Add the ginger, garlic, and spices, stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the yogurt, half-and-half, and green chilies, then bring to a gentle boil. Season with a bit of salt, then cover and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.

Add the pieces of fish and continue to cook for 10-12 minutes, until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through. Don’t overcook the fish or the fish will give off liquid and split the sauce.

Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.

Yogurt on Foodista


  1. Koci, this looks wonderful!!! I love the background of the final photos!

  2. The sauce sounds so super flavorful - a delicious dish!

  3. This sounds very interesting! Ever since the I saw Arti on the Next Food Network Star I have been wanting to try some indian foods! This looks like a good start, now i just need to go buy all those spices!

    Nice chopping skills too, thanks!

  4. This looks so full of flavor! Love the big photos. If you have a spice grinder, you can make your own garam masala. They do it at my job all the time. But Rani's sounds awesome and buying it is easier anyway! haha

  5. I love Indian food, and actually i just amde tandoori chicken with naan bread and cumin rice.... So good. This recipe looks delicious. I love all the spices in Indian cooking. They all come out indvidually and just explode in your mouth.... I am going to try this for sure!

  6. @Becky: Thanks! I love that fabric.

    @5 Star Foodie: I was really amazed at how complex it was, and yet really not too spicy either.

    @Debbie: I've been meaning to give that show a try. It might be hard to fit it in, what with my complete addiction to Cooking Channel and all. hehehe :D

    @Marisa: Right now, all I have for spice grinding is a coffee mill, but I'd LOVE to do some freshly ground spices!

    @Joudie's Mood Food: I'm so amazed by all the new spices and flavors that I've discovered from cooking Indian food. There's so many new ideas to try out!

  7. Koci this dish looks amazing!Your photos are beautiful.I hope you won't mind,I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  8. Koci, looking at your fish curry dish leaves me salivating in front of my screen! It looks absolutely delicious and flavorful... I feel like I have to go and cook some curry now! Wonderful job.

  9. @Alisa: Thanks! Foodista widget added!

    @Subterfuge Diva: Thank you! Expect to see more, as I'm really starting to fall in love with Indian food. :D

  10. Koci,

    This looks so delish!

    I feel like a loser but

    I've never cooked a curry

    dish before. This recipe looks

    like a great place to start.


  11. Oh my gosh, this look delicious! And so beautiful! Your photographs are gorgeous.
    I've recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think :)
    Thanks, and Happy Cooking!!!

  12. Nice recipe. I think Kefir would make it even better! Have you ever made it with kefir? If not, here is a recipe of kefir Very easy

  13. AnonymousMay 09, 2011

    wow fantastic with the pictures and everything. It makes it so easy to visualize what to do. And really nice pictures to!


Thanks for commenting! By leaving a comment, you officially become one of my favorite people. Mwah! :D

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...