Tag Archives: Steenbras

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

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