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Fish-Head Curry

A unique blend of multiple spices gives this signature Singapore curry dish its fiery flavor. Adapted for the home cook from Muthu's Restaurant.

  • Servings: 3
Fish-Head Curry

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October 2010


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/8 ounce ginger
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground fennel
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 ounce tamarind pulp, soaked in water
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 medium red snapper or sea bream fish head
  • White rice, for serving


  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add fennel, cumin, and fenugreek. Stir in garlic, onions, and ginger; cook, stirring, until golden brown. Add tomatoes and curry leaves; reduce heat and let simmer for 2 hours.

  2. Add chili powder, ground fennel, cumin, and turmeric; stir to combine. Add soaked tamarind and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

  3. Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Using an immersion blender, blend mixture until smooth. Season with salt and add fish; cook until fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with white rice.

Reviews (1)

  • LathaP 23 Sep, 2011

    I tried this curry at Muthu's Curry House in Singapore only because you did Martha -- and it was awesome! My kids liked it because it wasn't too spicy - I have to try it at home now that you have the recipe posted on the website! The owners of the restaurant are just amazing people! I met them spoke to them and told "I'm only here because Martha was here - call me crazy!" - it was fun!

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