Lighter South Indian fish curry

Use reduced-fat coconut milk and white fish fillets to make a low-fat, low-calorie curry that's still luxuriously creamy

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:20 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 447
  • fat 11g
  • saturates 6g
  • carbs 56g
  • sugars 15g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 30g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, halved lengthways and thinly sliced into wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger (about a 2½ cm/1in piece)
  • 12 dried curry leaves
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 small green chillies, halved lengthways, deseeded (or leave a few seeds in if you want a bit of heat)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 400g can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 500g skinned, firm white fish fillets, such as cod or haddock
  • 100g fine green beans, trimmed and halved lengthways
  • 1 ripe mango
  • generous handful roughly chopped coriander, leaves only
  • 200g basmati rice, cooked, to serve
  • lime wedges, to serve


How I made it healthier

I reduced fat and saturated fat by using reduced-fat coconut milk. Saturated fat was lowered even further by cooking with rapeseed oil. To increase the 5-a-day and vitamin C, I included fresh green beans and slices of mango.

What if I...

Used a 400g can of full-fat coconut milk instead of reduced fat? The calories would increase to 566 kcals. The fat would increase to 22.9g (15.5g sat fat) per serving and the recipe would lose its low fat and low calorie status.

Angela's top tips

For the neatest mango slices, cut down either side of the central mango stone to give you two cheeks of mango. Remove the peel and slice the cheeks into thin wedges. If you part-cook the fish on the heat, then remove it and let it finish cooking in the warmth from the pan, it will stay succulent and firm and is less likely to break up and overcook.



  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying or sauté pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 1 min, then tip in the onion, garlic and ginger, and fry for 1 min more. Stir in the curry leaves and mustard seeds, and fry about 3-4 mins on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are turning brown. Stir in the chillies, coriander, garam masala and turmeric, and fry for 30 secs.

  2. Stir the coconut milk in the can, then pour half into the pan. It should start to bubble and thicken, so let it simmer until quite thick, about 3 mins, stirring occasionally. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk, add the pepper and a pinch of salt, and lower the heat.

  3. Sit the fish in the coconut milk and press it down to half submerge it. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 4-5 mins (depending on the thickness of your fillets) until the fish is almost cooked. Do not stir or the fish will break up – just spoon some of the sauce over the top of the fish halfway through, then remove the pan from the heat and let the fish sit for another 3-4 mins to finish cooking slowly. When done, it should feel firm and no longer be opaque. If you want a thinner sauce, pour in a spoonful or two of water.

  4. Meanwhile, steam the green beans for about 4 mins until just tender. De-stone the mango and slice the flesh into thin wedges (see tip below left), then scatter over the fish to warm through.

  5. To serve, break the fish into big chunks by removing it to serving bowls with a slotted spoon, then pour the sauce over and around it. Serve with the beans, a scattering of coriander and the rice, with lime wedges on the side to squeeze over.

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