Fish tomato masala curry is a spicy scrumptious dish where the ring shaped fish pieces are  fried in mustard oil and bath in rich spicy tomato – onion gravy is found one of the staple fish dish of the root of odia cuisine. The dish infused with spices has a pleasant flavour feel in your taste bud and the mild aroma of fennel seeds  makes the dish unique , add a nice depth of flavour.

No doubt like other Indian spicy curry  this dish contains  onion and tomatoes but the perfect  timing of roasting the masala makes dish unique than other curry. The golden brown fried fishes soaked in the gravy makes the fish juicy inside and slight crunchy outside is one of the perfect fish dish for any time lunch or to be paired with steamed rice.

Well this dish is all about a fresh water fish easily and mostly available in Orissa’s fish market. Though any river  fish will go better but rohu one of the staple or mostly find fish in odia cuisine and one of my favourite fish goes best for the dish. .

The fish shape also matter if cut evenly. You only need to cut the fish in circular ring shaped and  smeared in turmeric and salt is one of the oldest method to remove the odour of the fish in odia cuisine

Mustard oil and fish is one of the great combination for  any fish dish in most of the odia or Indian sub continental cuisine.

Fry the fennel seeds and onions in the mustard oil until aromatic .

Add prepare ground paste. Though the masala needs to use dried or ripped red chili to blend for the paste. For dried red chilies you need to soak them in warm water to get nice and smooth paste.

The most non-skipped step is to roast the masala over medium flame along with continuous stirring until aromatic.

Slide on b one all the fried pieces of fish into the bubbled gravy.

Adding coriander leaves is no such mandatory you can skip but it enhances the flavour and feel an amazing taste in your taste bud.

Tomato Fish Masala Curry

yield : servings 4

prep time : 15 minutes

cook time : 25 minutes

total time : 40 minutes

things we need to do

  • 500 g rohu fish pieces -round cut (any river fish)
  • 1 big onion
  • 4 to 5 green chilies -slited
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 to 4 tomatoes -medium

for ground paste

  • 3 onions -big
  • 1 garlic head
  • medium ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 to 4 dried red chilies -(ripped red chilies)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Put all the ingredients in a blender to form a smooth paste.


If you using dried red chilies, you need to soak them in warm water for 15 minutes and add into the blender.


Smear 1 tsp of turmeric and salt over all the fishes  and marinate it around 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes discard the marinade water from the fish.

Smoke 1/2 cup of mustard oil in a aluminum wok or any wide dip pan over medium flame.

Now slide one or two pieces of fish into the hot oil, cook both the sides for 3 to 4 minutes.

When both the sides of the fishes turned golden brown, transfer  into a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Don’t crowd the pan, fry in batches so the fishes can be fried evenly. Now keep all the fishes in a side.

In the same pan or another pan, if using same pan then i would suggest to discard the oil if you have inside else it will get  bitterness in the curry.

Add 3 to 4 tbsp. of mustard oil, wait until smoke over medium flame .Now add fennel seeds when it starts to splutter add chopped onions.

Once the onions turn into pink or translucence, add prepared ground paste into  the pan.

The main step of the dish,  stirring the masala 3 to 4 minutes until aromatic or raw smell goes off

Add 2 cups of water, partially cover the lid until gravy start to boil.

Now add all the fried fishes into the gravy and add salt according to your taste. Cook over high flame for 1 to 2 minute.

Now cook on simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. When the gravy going to slight thick sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves and off the flame to serve hot with steamed rice.

Though the recipe demands gravy ,so you can add more water of your desire to enjoy the juicy and spiciness of the fish and masala.

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