Thoramalu – Sri Lankan Fish Curryvisit pinterest @cookeatblog

The great thing about fish curries, aside their taste, is the cooking time involved. Thoramalu, a Sri Lankan fish curry is so quick to prepare - once you've made the spice mix! If you make the curry powder in advance and store it you'll have your dinner on your plate in the time it takes for the rice to boil.

Creamy Coconut Milk Flavouring

Like a lot of South Indian and Sri Lankan curries the use of coconut milk gives a creamy, silky texture which sits in perfect harmony with the fish. I cycled to the fish markets today and as a reward, picked up some beautiful snapper fillets.

They were splendid with the rich, spicy and fragrant sauce. You can use any firm white fish and even other seafood - like prawns, squid, scallops or mussels. It's a real winner and a curry I make time and again when I'm feeling nostalgic about my Asian travels.

How to make my Thoramalu - Sri Lankan Fish Curry

Thoramalu - Sri Lankan Fish Curry
Thoramalu - Sri Lankan Fish Curry
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course:Main Course
Cuisine:Indian, Sri Lankan
Keyword:Curry, Fish, Seafood
Servings: 4
Calories: 454kcal


For the Curry Powder

For the Curry

  • 1.5 lb white fish fillets (skinned & deboned and cut into large chunks)
  • 1 can coconut milk (14oz/400ml)
  • 3 fresh chillies (slit lengthways)
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 lemongrass stalk white part only (bruised at end with a rolling pin)
  • 1 small onion (very finely chopped)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp of the spice powder above
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric


  • Fresh cilantro/coriander
  • Fresh tomato


For the curry powder

  • In a small frying pan dry fry the rice for 30-40 seconds till it browns slightly remove then fry the coconut until lightly browned then finally dry fry the fenugreek, cumin and fennel for 30 seconds.
    Add to a spice grinder or pestle & mortar and grind into a fine powder.
    Stir in the ground turmeric and set aside.

For the curry

  • Pour the coconut milk and 1 cup of water into a saucepan along with everything but the fish. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce a little
    Gently slide in the fish and shake the pan to cover with sauce. Don't stir as you'll break the fish up. Simmer for 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Shake the pan from time to time to move the fish about.
    Remove from the heat.
  • Sprinkle over the cilantro/coriander and tomato and serve with lots of fluffy basmati rice.


Nutrition Facts
Thoramalu - Sri Lankan Fish Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 454 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 21g131%
Cholesterol 85mg28%
Sodium 1281mg56%
Potassium 1154mg33%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 39g78%
Vitamin A 966IU19%
Vitamin C 111mg135%
Calcium 126mg13%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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