Category Archives: Fish

Do I have to use Tamarind in an Authentic Durban Fish Curry?


Last week I was craving a hot & spicy, Durban Fish Curry, so I popped down to Strand Beach and bought a fresh yellowtail that had just come in from the boats.

The guys filleted it for me, right there for R10, and I went home with two beautiful fillets of fresh fish.

When cooking a Durban Fish Curry, one need to make a ‘tomato chutney’ first, into which you then add the fish to cook for about 10 mins. (depending on what fish you use)

I was using Durban Curry Lovers, all-in-one Masala, so I did not need to add all the different spices.

To find a recipe which uses all the different spices, you can browse our collection of Fish & Seafood Curry Recipes.

As the tang which I was craving, just as much as the burn, requires the addition of Tamarind, I cooked the traditional Durban way and added Tamarind. I also added baby brinjal, which is a very popular, if not mandatory addition to Durban Fish Curry. (of course if you do not like it, just leave it out)

This is how it came out. Notice the beautiful dark hues from the Tamarind.

Durban Fish Curry WITH Tamarind

Anyway, to get to the point of this story. The day after, I had some fish left over that I had to use. I did not want to freeze it and after the delicious fish curry from the previous night, I was already craving another curry.

This time, I decided to make it without the Tamarind using the exact same recipe, just to test it with and without and see which I, and my family, preferred.

It came out beautifully, it was really enjoyable and the ‘burn’ was a bit more noticeable, as I guess ones senses are not competing with the tangy Tamarind and can concentrate on the beautiful spiciness.

Considering everything, I have to admit that I prefer it with some Tamarind, I like the little twang that it gives, but I have absolutely no complaints at all at how it came out without it.

So I guess that it comes down to personal choice, which is a wonderful thing.

Durban Fish Curry WITHOUT Tamarind

Here is the recipe and step by step instructions.


Durban Fish Curry with out Tamarind

  • Author: Shane
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 1 kg Fresh/Frozen Fish pieces
  • 2 tsp Fresh Garlic
  • 6 Medium Tomatoes chopped
  • 2 Medium Onions Sliced
  • ½ cup Cooking Oil
  • 4 tbsp Durban Curry Lovers, All-in-One Masala  (about 30g)
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind Juice* (optional)
  • Fresh Curry Leaves and Coriander to Garnish


  1. Heat Oil to a medium heat and fry Onions until golden brown.
  2. Add a few curry leaves and split green chillies (optional)
  3. Add Durban Curry Lovers, All-in-One Masala and fresh Garlic, stir for 5 seconds.
  4. Add Tomatoes and cook on medium heat until tomatoes are halfway done and you can see the oil separate from the gravy (chutney)
  5. Add Salt to taste.
  6. Add pieces of Fish carefully setting them into the tomato gravy.
  7. Mix occasionally and very gently without turning or breaking the fish.
  8. Add some fresh dhania leaves and cook until the Tomatoes have reduced.
  9. Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander.


See here for more Fish & Seafood Curry Recipes.

Buy our amazing All-in-One Masala from our ONLINE STORE

Add Tamarind either between step 3-4 or 5 mins before the end, if you wish, or here are some recipes for Durban Fish Curry with Tamarind

Do you like Durban Crab Curry, here are some recipes.


Keywords: Durban fish curry, tamarind

Durban Crab Curry Recipe

durban crab curry recipe

Durban Crab Curry Recipe

Thanks to Kim for sharing here recipe for her Durban Crab Curry.

It looks absolutely delicious.

  • Author: Kim Naidoo
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Seafood Curry
  • Method: Moderate
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 1.5 kg Crab
  •  8 tbsp Cooking Oil
  •  1 Onion Medium Size 
  •  3 sticks Cinnamon
  •  1 tin tomatoe puree 
  •  4 Green Chilies
  •  2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder 
  •  2 tsp Tamarind (Diluted in ¼ Cup Water forming a thick juice)
  •  1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  •  1 tsp Jeera Powder
  •  1 tsp Dhania Powder
  •  1 tsp Salt (Salt to Taste)
  •  2 tbsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
  •  Curry Leaf


  1. Marinated the crab with 2 teaspoons of curry powder, half teaspoon jeera, ginger and garlic and some lemon juice (I do this a day before I cook the curry keep in the fridge . )
  2. Heat oil in pot.
  3. Fry onions then add ALL spices listed add curry leaves and green chillies, 
  4. Then add ginger/garlic add crab cook for 15 minutes add  tomato puree , Tamarind juice.
  5. Add salt and half teaspoon sugar to/ taste and cook for 20-25 minutes.


Ask Kim questions on our Facebook Group

Buy our Durban Curry Lovers, All-in-One Masala


Keywords: Durban Crab Curry Recipe, Crab, Seafood Curry

Spicy Durban Mussel Chutney



Spicy Durban Mussel Chutney

One again, the amazing Jennifer N, knocks it out the park with this spectacular dish.

  • Author: Jennifer N
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Moderate
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 6 jam tomatoes grated
  • 1 small onion
  • Sliced Green Chilli, according to your preference
  • Kashmiri masala according to your preference
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger and garlic
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • Curry leaves
  • 500g Mussels


  1. Heat oil and add onion , green chilli and few curry leaves and fry.
  2. Once onion is cooked add turmeric , masala and ground ginger and garlic, whole garlic cloves and mix well.
  3. Then add tomatoes , more curry leaves , salt and some sugar and cook chutney till water
    dries up.
  4. Clean, drain and squeeze out water from mussels and add to chutney.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes and garnish with coriander

Keywords: durban curry, seafood, mussels, chutney

Brenda’s Pickled Fish Recipe

pickled fish recipe
Brenda’s Picked Fish

Brenda’s Pickled Fish Recipe

Thanks to Brenda C for sharing her recipe to her delicious pickIed fish.

Brenda told members of our Facebook Group, “I use this recipe for the pickle fish. I used 2 kg of fresh white fillet and skinned  fish. Cut the fish into suitable  pieces. Make a batter of your choice and lightly fry the fish, then set it aside for later use.”

  • Author: Brenda C
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Fish
  • Method: Moderate
  • Cuisine: South African



For Sauce

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 5 large onions cut into rings
  • Fresh grated ginger
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 5 tsp mild curry powder 
  • 3 tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 6 bay leaves 
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp cumin powder 
  • 1 litre white vinegar 
  • 300 grams sugar 
  • Sea salt to taste 
  • Lemon juice to add flavour
  • Fresh Coriander for garnish and taste


  1. Gently sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent 
  2. Add ginger garlic and all the spices ,fry get let for a few minutes
  3. Add vinegar and sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved 
  4. Simmer for about 20 minutes, taste and add lemon juice to if too sweet 
  5. Add more salt to taste.
  6. Place a layer of cooked fish in a suitable dish, pour a little hot sauce over it until all the fish is covered, add coriander, let it cool then chill until ready to serve.


Keywords: pickled fish, fish

Durban Crab Curry Recipe by Jennifer

durban crab curry recipe
durban authentic crab curry recipe
Jennifer’s Delicious Crab Curry

Durban Crab Curry Recipe by Jennifer

Jennifer’s family really love crab curry.  Just looking at this beautiful dish, it is easy to see why.

Thank you to Jennifer for sharing her step-by-step recipe, so that we can cook a delicious Durban Crab Curry at home.

  • Author: Jennifer G-B
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 2 kg crab
  • 10 to 12 ripe tomatoes
  • 3 onion
  • 3 green chillies
  • Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp kashmiri Masala
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind, mixed in 2 cup warm water
  • Salt


  1. Fry onion and garlic in oil
  2. Add turmeric and Masala
  3. Add ginger and garlic paste
  4. Add tomatoes, green chillies, curry leaves & salt
  5. Cook for 10 minutes or until tomatoes have softened
  6. Add crab
  7. Cook for 5 minutes
  8. Add tamarind water
  9. Cook for 20mins
  10. Switch off stove
  11. Garnish with dhania

Keywords: Durban Crab Curry Recipe, Crab, Seafood Curry

More Crab Curry Recipes

Here are some more crab curry recipes to help you cook the perfect Durban Crab Curry

Tinned Fish Curry with Mielie Rice

tinned fish curry with mielie
tinned fish curry with mielie rice
Tinned Fish & Potato Curry

Tinned Fish Curry with Mielie Rice

Tinned fish curry with UTD potatoes and mealie rice.

Thanks for Jennifer N for sharing her recipe.

  • Author: Jennifer N
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 1 Potato (cut into 6 pieces)
  • 2 Jam Tomatoes (grated)
  • 1 Small Onion (sliced)
  • 1 Green Chilli (cut in half)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of masala
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and garlic
  • Curry leaves
  • I can of 215g tinned fish (cleaned, the tomato sauce must be added to the grated tomato)


  1. Heat little oil in a pot
  2. Add sliced onion and green chilli and sauté until soft.
  3. Add turmeric, masala and ground ginger and garlic, mix well
  4. Add grated tomato, potato and curry leaves, salt to taste and cook till potatoes are soft.
  5. Then add the fish and cook on low for 8 to 10 minutes


For more recipes from Jennifer
For more Tinned Fish Recipes
For more Fish & Seafood Recipes


Keywords: Tinned Fish, Lucky Star, Durban Curry, Mielie Rice

Durban Crab Curry by Aunty Maurine

Durban Crab Curry Recipe
durban crab curry recipe
Durban Crab Curry by Aunty Maurine

Durban Crab Curry by Aunty Maurine

When talking Durban Crab Curry, this is about as traditional as it gets. A delicious Durban Crab Curry, cooked to absolute perfection in a spicy, lip tingling, fiery red curry gravy.

Aunty Maurine shares her step-by-step recipe so that you can cook a Durban Crab Curry at home.

  • Author: Aunty Maurine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 1 Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 Tablespoon jeera
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustards Seeds
  • 4 Pieces of  (finely chopped)
  • 5 Tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 5 Green Chillies
  • 4 Tablespoons of Masala
  • Tamarind  
  • Salt to taste 


  • Heat oil , mustards seeds and jeera and garlic with curry leaves  & chillies
  • Add your washed, cleaned crab & lower heat until pink in colour
  • Add your masala, mix well
  • Add your tomatoes & your tamarind (softened & mixed in warm water)
  • Taste for salt & add to taste
  • Cook on low heat for 15 minutes
  • Serve with rice, buttered bread, roti or whatever makes you happy.


Hint: Tamarind paste is very easy to use. Simply reconstitute (mix) the thick paste with warm water. Add 2 parts water to 1 part concentrate and stir until combined.

See more Durban Crab Curry Recipes & Durban Seafood Curry Recipes

More Recipes by Aunty Maurine

Keywords: crab, durban curry

Durban Middlecut Fish Curry

durban middlecut tinned fish curry recipe
durban middlecut tinned fish curry recipe
Another Delicious Recipe & Photo by Maurine C

Durban Middlecut Fish Curry

Middlecut is made from Mackerel, a striped fish that contains lots of Omega 3 & 6 oils, as well as a list of other vitamins and minerals. This great-tasting and healthy fish is absolutely fantastic in a Durban Fish Curry.

Middlecut is also different to the tinned pilchards which are widely used in Durban Tinned Fish Curry, in that it is mostly canned in salted water, as compared to the tomato of chilli sauce of the tinned pilchards.

This absolutely delicious recipe by Aunty Maurine is a healthy, tasty and enjoyable family treat that will surely become a family favourite.



  • Author: Aunty Maurine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Middlecut Tinned Fish
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Masala (add Masala to taste)
  • 1 x Medium Onion (Thinly Sliced)
  • 2 x Jam Tomatoes (Chopped)
  • 2 x Green Chillies (Sliced long ways)
  • Garlic & Ginger Paste (to taste)
  • Boiled Eggs (Sliced, as many or as little as you like)


  • Cover the base of your pot with oil
  • Add masala, tumeric powder, green chillies
  • Add salt,  fry onions till golden brown and soft
  • Add the chopped tomato, cook till soft
  • Clean the Middlecut tined fish
  • When the tomato is cooked, add in tinfish, ginger n garlic & mix (Cook for a few minutes)
  • Remove from the stove (Mix without breaking up the Middlecut
  • Optional add sliced boiled eggs to tinfish 
  • Serve with roti, rice or whatever makes you happy

Keywords: Middlecut, Tinned Fish, Durban Curry, Healthy

Hot & Spicy Durban Fish Roe Chutney

Hot & Spicy Fish Roe Chutney by Jennifer N

Hot & Spicy Durban Fish Roe Chutney

Follow this easy step-by-step recipe to cook Hot & Spicy Durban Fish Roe Chutney at home. 

Thank you to Jennifer N for sharing her recipe to this beautiful dish.

  • Author: Jennifer N
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian



For the Fish Roes

  • Fish Roes
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Garlic & Ginger Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon of Masala
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon Masala, or  to taste

For the Chutney

  • 1 x Medium Onion (finely chopped)
  • 6 x Grated or Blended Jam Tomatoes
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 Tablespoon Masala, or to taste.
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar


  • Boil fish roe with salt , 1tsp of ground ginger and garlic and 1 tbl of masala for 15 minutes.
  • Drain and cool.
  • Once cooled marinade with 1/4 tsp of turmeric and masala according to your preference.
  • Fry on each side till lightly browned.

Make a tomato chutney and when chutney is 3/4 cooked add fried fish roe and cook for 10 minutes.

For the Chutney

  • Add oil in a pot with the sliced onion,split green chillis & curry leaves.
  • Once onion is browned add 1/4 tsp of turmeric, masala according to your preference and 1/2 tsp of ground ginger and garlic.
  • Mix well & add the jam tomatoes, salt & teaspoon of sugar.
  • Cook till 3/4 done and then add your fried fish roe

Keywords: Fish Roe, Durban Curry, Chutney

Durban Fish Curry with Tamarind

durban-fish-curry-recipe (3)
Red Hot & Spicy Durban Fish Curry

Durban Fish Curry with Tamarind

A red hot & spicy Durban Fish Curry cooked with Tamarind.

This recipe is based on the incredible Fish Curry Recipe by Irene Enoch from Blessed Bakes.


  • Author: Shane
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Moderate
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Fresh Fish or your choice
  • Sunflower Oil 
  • 2 Medium Onions (thinly chopped)
  • 4 Jam Tomatoes (grated)
  • 6 Split Chillies (or to taste)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Durban Curry Lovers, All-in-One Masala
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Honey
  • Curry Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon Tamarind, Diluted in Warm Water


  • Cover the base of the pot and fill to at least 7mm – or more or less to your own taste
  • Add your onions and gently fry for at least 10 – 15 minutes, until soft, sweet & golden brown.
  • Add Ginger & Garlic and fry until soft
  • Add Masala and allow to fry for at least 5 mins, until properly tempered. (Keep your stove low to medium & add splashes of water if the masala gets too thick. Do not burn)
  • Add Tomatoes and simmer until they are soft and dissolved into the sauce. (use your spoon to break the tomato down, if need be)
  • Add the honey and mix well
  • Add Curry Leaves & simmer for 5 minutes
  • Test for salt and add accordingly
  • Add a cup of water, or however much will be necessary to cover the fish when you add it later
  • Simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes, until you see the oil start to separate from the sauce
  • Add the fish and cover with sauce. Try not move the fish again, perhaps just to flip
  • Dissolve the tamarind with a little warm water until it is a paste & add it to your sauce
  • Gently simmer until the fish is cooked, occasionally stirring the sauce and basting the fish
  • Test for salt and add accordingly
  • Garnish with Dhania
  • Serve with whatever makes you happy.


I did not use any whole spices, as I used our Durban Curry Lovers, All-in-One Masala

Experiment until you have developed your own recipe that suits your taste.

Check some more of our Fish Curry Recipes, for suggestions on ingredients & technique.

Irene is available for catering and baking to order, see her Facebook Page

Keywords: fresh fish, durban curry, all-in-one masala, tamarind

Durban Tinned Fish Curry Recipe

Durban Tinned Fish Curry Recipe
Durban Tinned Fish Curry Recipe

Durban Tinned Fish Curry Recipe

I will never forget the first time that I ever tasted a Durban Tinned Fish Curry.

One of the sisters, by the name of Sam, who was absolutely instrumental in my curry cooking adventure, made it for us for lunch.

It was the first time that I had ever heard of, never mind tasted a tinned fish curry – and please excuse the pun … I was instantly hooked.

I think that I make a pretty decent tinned fish curry, here is my recipe, until I feasted my eyes on this absolute beauty by Aunty Maurine.

Wow … this is the real deal. 

Aunty Maurine was kind enough to share her step-by-step recipe, so that now we can all cook this beautiful dish at home. Thank you.

  • Author: Aunty Maurine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 1 Large Onion (Finely Chopped)
  • 1 Tomato (chopped)
  • Half tsp Mustard Seeds
  • Half tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Few Dried Chillies
  • 3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • Curry leaves
  • 3 Potatoes cut in quarters
  • 3 tbs Sunflower Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander and Cumin powder (Dhania & Jeera Powder)


  • Heat oil.
  • Add mustard seeds and let it popped.
  • Add cumin seeds and dried chillies.
  • Add onions and fry until lightly browned. 
  • Add ginger garlic, curry leaves and spices.
  • Add potatoes and tomatoes.
  • Add salt and water and cook until potatoes are soft. 
  • Clean tinned fish (this is necessary) and add to curry.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes until oil surfaces.
  • Serve hot with roti. Eniov 


Keywords: Tinned Fish, Lucky Star, Durban Curry

Crab Curry by Irene


Crab Curry by Irene (Blessed Bakes)

Crab Curry is one of the iconic dishes of Durban. Fiery pieces of fresh crab, eaten with the hands and a fresh bread buttered bread roll to mop up the sauce.

It is just one of those things that have to be experienced.

Cook a crab curry at home, following this step-by-step recipe by Irene from Blessed Bakes.

Have a squizz at her page. Besides baking and cooking to order,  Irene is available for catering events and functions.

  • Author: Irene Enoch
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 10 medium jam tomatoes grated
  • Whole Fresh Green Chillies
  • 1 sachet tomato Paste
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2tsp food colour
  • 1T pure chillie powder
  • 1T Seafood Masala
  • 1T Rombo Rossi Masala

Put the above ingredients in a bowl and add a little salt. Add the crab juice from the crab and mix it all together. Keep aside for later on in the recipe.

  • 1/2 Tsp Crushed Dhania Powder
  • 1.2 Tsp Crushed Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Crushed Jeera Powder
  • 1 Onion (Thinly Chopped)


  • To heated oil, I added the 1/2 tsp crushed dhania, crushed mustard and crushed jeera powder
  • Add in 1 finely chopped onion. Allow to infuse
  • When the onion is light brown and fragrant then add your tomatoes and the spices that you have in your bowl
  • Mix and then add 1/4 cup water
  • Mix again and cover with the lid
  • After 8 to 10 minutes, add your crab into the pot
  • Make sure you have enough liquid in your chutney, but not too much.
  • Cover and allow to cook on medium with the lid on
  • After 10 minute , check for salt & stir
  • Switch stove off, cover the pot and leave for about 5minutes.( I do this to allow the gravy to soak into the crab meat)
  • Then switch stove on and let the thin liquid reduce
  • When you see a lovely, thick gravy and treacle’s of oil, and the crab is coated in the gravy then the crab curry is done
  • Throw in some fresh dhania garnish, mix, cover pot & switch off the heat.

Keywords: Crab, Seafood

Seafood Curry on the Fire by Veneshvarin

seafood curry recipe
seafood curry recipe

Many thanks to Veneshvarin Naidoo, for sharing his recipe to this delicious Seafood Curry, which was cooked in a cast iron pot over the open flame.

1 kg seafood mix
700 muscles in shell (you can add calamari crayfish tails etc, just pre pressure cook calamari before you add to pot)
1xStar anise
3xCardamom pods
2xCinnamon sticks
2xdry red chillies
2xBay leaves
1tsp Jeera seeds
1tsp Somph
1tsp mustard seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
Powder spices:
3tbs kashmiri masala
1tsp turmeric
1tsp garam masala
1tsp jeera powder
1tsp coriander powder
1tsp chilli powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
1 tsp braising spice
Fresh ingredients :
1large onion.
Bunch Fresh coriander
2tbs Ginger and garlic paste
2 sprigs curry leaves

1. Add oil and seeds to the pot, when the seeds start popping add chopped onion and curry leaves.
2. When onion is translucent add ginger and garlic paste and all powder spices, braise for about 30 seconds.
3. Once you can get the aroma of all the spices add the (from frozen) seafood mix ( do not add the crab sticks yet)
4. Let it cook till most of the meat is tender then add crab sticks and salt.
5. Let it simmer till all water has evaporated and the gravy thickens, then garnish with fresh dhania leaves (coriander)
6. Serve with garlic naan made on the open flame.

For more recipes: Seafood, Lamb/Mutton/Beef, Chicken, Veg/Beans

Tinfish Breyani by Miquel

Absolutely delicious Tinfish Breyani

This delicious Tinfish Breyani was cooked by Miquel.
His Mom was very proud to share this easy to follow, step-by-step recipe.

2 cup rice
1/2 cup lentil
1 Can Tinned Fish ( clean well and rinse, sieve juice of tin fish and add to grated tomatoes)
Put fish in separate bowl, and let it marinated with the sour milk & chopped mint
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2tsp jeera
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon sticks
1 aniseed
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp food coloring
1 tsp chilli powder( and a tsp of other spices you have to go with a fish dish)
Few Curry leaves
4 medium tomatoes( grated and add tinfish juice with it)
Half medium onion(chopped fine for braising chutney)
2 green chillies (sliced in middle)
Hand full of mint
4 boiled eggs
4 medium potatoes ( boil or cook in microwave,add salt n food coloring,put in plastic packet n cook oh high for 3 min,but check in between
1 medium onion,sliced to fry in butter n stir into rice n lentils
Dhania to garnish when finished

Use a flat based vessel
Add oil, when heated add your dry spices mentioned above
Then add chopped onions and Curry leaves & fry until golden
Add your tomatoes and chilli powder, chillies, salt & honey
Mix & add a little water.
Cover and let it cook into a smooth chutney
Now add your tin fish that has been marinating in sour milk
Place fish on chutney and pour the marinade over
With a spoon put the chutney over your fish.
Reduce heat & let it simmer for about 10 mins, checking in between that it doesn’t dry off.
Switch off when you see treacle’s of oil n the water has reduced.
Last fry onion in butter till caramelised & golden brown. Mix this into your cooked rice & lentils


Tinfish chutney (the gravy)
Place remaining tinfish chutney over the top layer & place you tinfish over.
If you are adding boiled egg or potatoes , put in between the fish
Garnish with dhania
Cover the pot and put in oven for 15 minutes.
Then serve & enjoy.

If you enjoyed this recipe and would like more seafood curry recipes, you will find them here.

Here is a recipe for a traditional Durban Tin Fish Curry.

Ms Irene Enoch’s Durban Fish Curry Recipe

durban fish curry recipe
durban fish curry recipe

Today we are very fortunate to be able to share with you a very special Durban Fish Curry Recipe by Ms Irene Enoch, from Blessed Bakes.


  • Steenbras – 3 Middle Slices
  • Salt
  • 8 Jam Tomatoes (Grated)
  • 1 Sachet Tomato Paste
  • 3 Red or Green Chillies (Slit)
  • Fresh Curry Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Masala
  • 1 Tablespoon Bombay Delite Hot Masala
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Egg Yellow
  • 1 Onion (Finely Chopped)
  • 8 Garlic Cloves (Skinned)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • Crushed Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
  • Crushed Dhania (Coriander Seeds)
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Tamarind
  • Dhania Leaves to Garnish


  • Rinsed your fish and drain, sprinkle with a little salt and leave aside. (The reason for adding salt onto the fish is that I add fish at the end and most of the time the flavour of gravy goes in but has no taste)
  • In a bowl, add the grated tomatoes, tomato paste, chillies, curry leaves, salt, fish masala, bombay delite hot masala, chilli powder, egg yellow and then set aside.
  • Add your onion and garlic to hot oil, then add the mustard seeds, crushed jeera, crushed dhania and let it all fuse together to flavour your onions.
  • Add your grated tomatoes and all your spices into the pot. (The bowl which you set aside earlier)
  • Add honey & Mix
  • Add half a cup of hot water, mix & cover the pot to let the tomatoes cook and break down into a chutney
  • After ten minutes, add you fish into the chutney and baste with the chutney
  • Cover and let it all cook for 5 minutes on medium
  • Turn the fish over and repeat the process of basting, ensuring that there is still moisture in the pot
  • Cover and leave for 5 minutes on medium.
  • In a bowl add the tamarind, add little boiling water & mix to form a smooth paste. Add little more water and pour into the pot, giving a little shake as to mix but not break up the fish.
  • Reduce the heat on the stove to low & cover the pot with a lid
  • Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove and leave the pot on the stove to rest
  • The curry should be a thick gravy. The colour would have darkened into a beautiful dark red (see photo) and you will see the oil rise to the surface of the sauce.
  • The fish should not be moved around in order to keep it whole.
  • HINT: Add your dhania when you food is warm, not hot.

Irene says that the trick to this recipe and to her cooking in general, is “not to hold back or be impatient. Do things accurately, with the right ingredients, or do not bother.”

We can clearly see that this dish was cooked with much love and with a recipe that has taken many, many years to perfect. Thanks again for sharing.

Follow Irene Enoch’s Facebook Page Blessed Bakes for more recipes, food ideas and even to order catering for your next function or event.

Read more Fish Curry Recipes

Durban Lucky Star Tinned Fish Curry

durban tinned fish curry
durban tinned fish curry

Durban Lucky Star Tinned Fish Curry

There are few meals under R20 which can feed a family of 4.

There are even fewer meals under R20 which can feed a family of 4 and still be absolutely delicious, as a famous Durban Tinned Fish Curry.

  • Author: Shane
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 1 Tin Pilchards (chilli is best)
  • 100ml Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Large Onions (Finely chopped)
  • 23 Jam tomatoes (or more if you want more gravy)
  • Curry leaves
  • Star Anise
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Teaspoon Jeera, Powder or Whole Seeds (cumin)
  • 1 Teaspoon Chilli Powder (or Cayenne Pepper if you want hot)
  • 2 Tablespoons Masala / Curry Powder
  • 1 Large potato cut into small cubes (optional)
  • Dhania to garnish


  • Remove pilchards from the can, leaving the sauce behind. Cut them down the belly and remove bones and any stomach etc that you may find inside. (keep the sauce, we will add to the pot later)
  • Put oil into the pot, on a medium heat
  • Add star anise, cinnamon and jeera (cumin) and allow to fry. (do not burn your spices)
  • Add the onions and saute until soft
  • Add Masala / Curry Power and let fry (do not let burn)
  • Add tomatoes
  • Add a dash of water if required if the mixture is too dry
  • Lower the heat and let simmer until the mixture has cooked down and the oil is starting to float to the top
  • Add curry leaves and let simmer for 2 minutes
  • Add potatoes and more water if required.
  • Cover and let simmer until the potatoes are soft and almost cooked.
  • Add your fish, laying them down on the sauce. Spoon sauce on top of the fish. Turn the heat right down, cover the pot and allow to simmer for 5 or so minutes.
  • Take the pot off the heat and allow to stand for at least 15 minutes.
  • Serve with rice, fresh buttered bread, roti or however you like it.


Hint: The longer the fish sits in the sauce, the better it will taste.

Learn some more fish curry recipes

Keywords: Tinned Fish, Lucky Star, Durban Curry

More Tinned Fish Recipes

Mrs Moodley’s Fish Curry Recipe


For those of us who absolutely love a fish, or any seafood curry, for that matter – this is a very special recipe, which I am sure has been perfected over many, many years.

Note from Sugen Moodley who shared the recipe on Facebook, “This is my Mums recipe.  I used a Natal Stumpnose of around 3.2kg which I caught.  You can use any available fish.”

  • 3.2kg fish
  • 5 large tomatoes- grated
  • 4 whole green chillies
  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 + 1 teaspoons chilli powder. (see method)
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind, diluted in 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
  • 200ml veg oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic


  • Fry the onions until they are soft and light brown.
  • Add all of the ingredients, except the fish, the chillies, 1 teaspoon of chilli power and 1/2 teaspoon of crushed garlic. (which we will add later)
  • Simmer on medium heat, then place the pieces of fish in the pot in a single layer.
  • Spoon the chutney over the fish. (Do not turn the fish over)
  • Taste and add salt to preference.
  • After about 5 minutes, transfer the fish to a plate with the cooked side up.
  • Repeat the process if you have any more pieces of fish.
  • Add the chillies and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, whilst stirring, allowing for the water to evaporate.
  • Once the oil rises to the surface, add the 1/2 teaspoon of crushed garlic and the 1 teaspoon of chillie powder which you reserved earlier.
  • Return the fish to the pot, with the uncooked side down.
  • Simmer on medium/low heat.
  • Traditionally, a sheet of newspaper is now placed over the pot, but you can use a lid. (just place it so that some steam can escape)
  • Do not use a spoon to stir, rather pick up the pot and gently tilt it to coat the fish with chutney every 2 to 3 minutes.
  • After 20 mins on low (3) the oil should be visible, most of the water would have evaporated.
  • Scrape the spoon in the open spaces, between the fish, to ensure it is not burning. (I like to use a wooded spatula)
  • Simmer on low (1) for a further 6 mins.
  • The oil should now be visible.
  • Garnish and enjoy!
sugen-fish-curry-recipe Natal Stumpnose caught by Sugen Moodley

Mrs Joyce Naidoo’s Steenbras Fish Curry

Pic: Joyce Naidoo


  • 8 large tomatoes
  • 6 big cloves garlic peeled n sliced
  • 1 large onion
  • Curry leaves
  • 2 Stems shallot
  • Mixed Masala including fish Masala
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon of Brown Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 Green Chillies
  • Cooking oil


  • Heat your oil
  • Add the green chillies (which have been cut length ways to give it a slit), the onions and your curry leaves
  • Add the Garlic
  • 5 Tablespoon masala
  • Tomatoes, Grated
  • Sugar & Salt to taste
  • Allow tomatoes to cook well
  • Then add some tamarind mixed in 1 cup of warm water, allow to boil rapidly. Then place your fish in yo the pot and allow to cook for about 20 to 25 minutes until the fish is cooked.

    Note: This fish curry is best to eat when cold and it is absolutely out-of-this-world, when served with warm, white bread and butter.

About White Steenbras (Pignose Grunter)

White steenbras ( Lithognathus lithognathus) are endemic, spawning fish highly prized by recreational fishers. They are found in estuaries (juveniles) and surf (sub-adults) and inshore zone (adults). Populations were heavily overfished in the 80’s which lead to a collapse in the fishing industry. White steenbras are listed as Endangered on IUCN’s list for threatened species and are rated as no-sale species within South Africa.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Only recreational fishers with special permit may catch white steenbras following a daily bag (1) and minimum size limit (60cm). Recreational fishers are not allowed to sell their catches.

3. Where is it from?

White steenbras are endemic to the waters around the Orange River up to KwaZulu-Natal. Due to its no-sale status management, consists of monitoring and permit enforcement on a local scale.

White Steenbras
(Lithognathus lithognathus)
Pignose grunter, Wit steenbras

Find out about the sustainability of any seafood species you want to eat by viewing the SASSI List

Govenders Original Crab Curry Recipe

Mr. Vijay Govender’s Original Crab Curry Recipe

Govenders Original Crab Curry Recipe

This is the original Durban Crab Curry recipe by the man who practically invented the dish.

The beauty of this recipe, is it’s simplicity.  The secret is in the ingredients, so take care to use the exact measurements and quantities.

This is Vijay Govender’s Famous Recipe – enjoy.

  • Author: Vijay Govender
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 2kg Crab cleaned and cut
    • 6-8 tablespoons Cooking Oil. Add a little more or a little less, to your preference.
    • 1-2 large Onion (thinly sliced)
    • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
    • 8-12 medium Tomatoes (grated)
    • 8 Green Chilies (split down the middle)
    • 7 tablespoons Curry Powder (Mother-in-law’s or Extra Hot)
    • 3 teaspoons Tamarind (diluted thick in ¼ cup water)
    • 2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
    • 2 teaspoon Jeera Powder
    • 2 teaspoon Dhania Powder
    • Sea Salt (fine)
    • 2 tablespoon Ginger/Garlic Paste
    • Curry Leaves
    • Dhania Leaves


  1. Heat oil in pot
  2. Fry onions and then add ALL the spices listed
  3. Add the ginger/garlic paste, tomatoes, curry leaves, green chilies and tamarind juice
  4. Add the Crab pieces,
  5. Add sea salt to taste and cook for 20-25 minutes
  6. Garnish with Dhania Leaves
  7. Allow to stand before serving


Serve with rice or fresh white bread.

Keywords: Durban Crab Curry Recipe, Crab, Seafood Curry, Vijay Govender

Dean Dickinson’s Picked Fish Recipe

Credit: Dean Dickinson

Notes by Dean: When searching recipes for pickling fish on the net most recipes are for small portions and most anglers will be looking to pickle at least 3kg plus of fish at any one time.  When you catch a big Kob or Garick, pickling it becomes a good & tasty option.

I have worked out an easy method for bulk pickling as I often use it for catering for large numbers in my catering company throughout the year.

Most recipes are far too sour and the balance of the sauce is completely overpowering.

When preparing food in bulk it is very important to get the correct balance or you can ruin large amounts of food at one time and the last thing you want to do is pickle 10kg of fish and you can’t eat it because it is too sour.

It is normally tradition to pickle fish around Easter and when the time comes this recipe will come in handy.

Some prefer to grill fish and pour over the pickling sauce and others prefer to fry the fish in batter first. This recipe can be used for either.

If using the grilled version just omit the deep frying part of the recipe.

Check our more of Deans recipes and cooking on Pinterest.


For the sauce

  • 100ml vegetable oil to fry the onions and carrots
  • 5 tbls mazina
  • 3 pkts Knorr white onion soup
  • 100g fish masala or I use Packo curry powder or a wet masala from any good spice shop Gorima’s in Durban . (Use more if you prefer it hotter or add some freshly chopped chili.)
  • 2 tbls fennel seeds
  • 1 tbls cumin seeds
  • 1 tbls ground cinnamon or a few blades of cassia bark
  • 1 tbls ground coriander
  • 5tbls ground turmeric
  • 5 Star anise
  • 4 fresh lemon leaves or curry leaves
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 3.5 liters of water
  • 5 large onions sliced
  • 100g seedless sultanas / optional
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 2 tbls diced ginger
  • 2 tbls freshly chopped garlic

To make the pickling sauce.

  • Slice the onions and grate the carrot and fry them in the heated oil in a heavy based pot.
  • Add all the masala, ground spices, garlic, ginger and lemon leaf to the onions and lightly fry for 2 minutes then add the brown sugar water and vinegar, salt and bring to the boil.
  • Mix the white onion soup and mazina in a cup of cold water till it have made a smooth paste and stir into the pot of boiling water whilst stirring to avoid lumps forming.
  • Simmer till the sauce thickens.
  • Once it has thickened it is ready to pour over the fish.


To marinate the fish before frying

  • 3kg of firm filleted fish Garick, white cracker, steenbrass, grunter or Kob.
  • 3 tbls masala for the vinegar mixture to marinate the fish
  • 3tbls Robertson’s fish spice or the lemon spice works even better
  • 250 White vinegar
  • 200g Brown sugar



  • Mix the sugar salt and vinegar together till the sugar dissolves with the salt add the masala and pour over the fish that has been cut into 40g bite size pieces
  • Place the fish in the fridge to marinate for 30min whilst making the sauce
  • 1tbls Himalayan pink salt or regular salt if you don’t have pink salt.


Ingredients for the batter

  • 400g flour to dust the fish
  • 800g Flour for the batter
  • 2 tbls fish spice
  • 3 tbls masala
  • 900ml ice water for batter
  • 2ltrs Canola or Sunflower oil to fry the fish

Method to fry the fish.

  • Drain off the vinegar marinade.
  • Mix the masala and fish spice with the dry flour and dust the fish with the seasoned flour and place in a tray or plate ready to dip into the batter.
  • Mix the water flour and fish spice with the masala and whisk gently to form the batter.
  • Once the batter is ready dip the dusted fish into the flour and
  • Place in the pre heated oil set at 180c till nicely browned. Remove the cooked fish from the oil and drain off the excess oil.
  • Once the fish is all cooked place it in a tray and cover it with the sauce.
  • Let it cool before storing it in the fridge for at least a day to absorb the flavours.

Chefs tip: When frying fish in a deep fryer as soon as the fish floats it is cooked just make sure it is not stuck to the bottom of the pan or frying basket.

Durban Fish Curry Recipe

durban fish curry recipe
durban fish curry recipe
pic courtesy “Tasty Veedu”

Durban Fish Curry Recipe

What are you cooking this weekend? Why not try your hand at a Durban Fish Curry cooked using this traditional recipe.

Almost any fish used may vary but shad is a firm favourite.

The secret to a delicious gravy (besides using the freshest fish) is getting the perfect balance of puli (tamarind) in the curry.

  • Author: Legends of the Tide
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Durban Curry
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 5 Thick slices of fish
  • 1 Tablespoons jeera (Cumin Powder)
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 TB puli (tamarind) mixed with 1/4 cup water. (Remove seeds and use only juice)
  • 2 Tablespoons mixed masala
  • 2 large green chillies split down the middle
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • Curry leaves
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons ginger and garlic
  • 10 Jam tomatoes
  • 10 Small brinjals
  • 1/4 Tablespoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Dhania to garnish (Coriander Leaves)


  • Heat oil
  • Fry jeera and mustard seeds
  • Brown onions. Add masala, ginger and garlic paste and chillies
  • Add grated tomatoes, tamarind juice and salt to taste.
  • Simmer for a few minutes
  • Add brinjals
  • When brinjals are half cooked, add fish. Do not stir the curry as the fish will break.
  • Cook on reduced heat for about 30 minutes. (Stir the curry by gently shaking the pot ensuring the fish is well coated with gravy.)
  • Add the garlic cloves and continue to cook
  • Add dhania and curry leaves.
  • Simmer for few seconds before removing from heat.
  • Serve with rice or fresh white bread and butter.


Notes: Can be cooked the day before you serve. This allows the flavour to soak into the fish.

View more Fish Curry Recipes or if you like to burn, try Vijay Govenders Original Crab Curry Recipe


Keywords: durban curry, fish curry, durban fish curry, shad, legends of the tide

Recipe from Legends of the Tide pp. 237-8

Legends of the Tide – The Seine-netters and the Roots of the Durban Fishing Industry on special for R250.

Call 0785930585 to order.

Mrs Singhs Prawn Curry Recipe


Durban is famous for our Mutton Curry Bunny Chow, but we are equally as famous for our Durban Prawn Curry.

Variations are crayfish, langoustine & even Chicken & Prawn combo are all delicious.

This is an easy and yet truly tasty Prawn Curry recipe by Mrs Singh.


  • 1kg prawn meat well drained
  • 2 med. onions-finely chopped
  • 8 large ripe grated / finely chopped tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic ground , 1t/spoon ginger ground
  • 4 elachi pods/3 bay leaves/salt to taste
  • 1t/spoon jeera powder
  • 1t/spoon methi seeds ground+ a grind of black peppercorns
  • 1t/spoon Tumeric powder
  • 2T/spoon garam masala
  • 3 T/spoon chilli powder
  • Greshly chopped: dhania(coriander)
  • Shallot(spring onion)
  • Curry leaves
  • Treen chilli


  1. Heat butter and oil in a pot.
  2. Braise onions, garlic, bay leaves, elachi and ground methi
  3. Add tomatoes, spices, ginger, salt & curry leaves.
  4. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add prawns, stir and let simmer for about 8 minutes.
  6. Garnish with desired amount of green chillis.

If you desire a milder Thai flavour, then simply add a cup of coconut milk and a cup of fresh cream about 5 minutes after step 5.

Serves Best with Braised Rice or Roti and a fresh bowl of sambals.

NB.remember to remove the elachi pods before serving