Goan Curried Fish Stew

From Goa, a tropical paradise on the south west coast of India, where palm trees dot the landscape and seafood is in abundance, comes this flavorful and succulent fish stew.  Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for many years,  it remained a Portuguese territory till 1961 when it was annexed back to India.  The Portuguese influences are still evident all over Goa from the architecture, to the religion, from the language and dress to the cuisine.  Goans even have Portuguese last names as a result.  Typically the Goan curries are made with fresh coconut, and an array of spices blended with vinegar, which gives some of the curries that distinctive tangy taste.  Mostly every Goan (that’s what the the locals are referred to), has a fondness for fresh fish.  This particular dish does not have the vinegar, but rather tamarind to render the tangy taste.  I’ve used mussels, salmon, and prawns in this recipe, but you can use any fish you have on hand.  I do think the addition of mussels give this curry a nice contrast against that bright yellow, don’t you?

Goan curried fish stew

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 1hr
  • Print


  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb shrimp, shells removed and deveined
  • 1 lb mussels
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Tamarind to taste


  1. In a glass or stainless-steel container, combine the salmon, prawns, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let marinate at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a blender, puree the garlic and ginger with the coconut milk, coriander, cumin, brown sugar, black pepper, turmeric, and cayenne.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the coconut mixture, the jalapeños, the water, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and bring slowly almost to a simmer, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the salmon and prawns and 1 tablespoon of the marinade. Add the mussels.  Bring to a simmer and continue simmering until the fish is just done, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tamarind for the tangy taste right at the end.

IMG_6451I served this succulent seafood stew over a bowl of basmati rice.  The spiciness and creaminess of this dish had us going back for seconds and thirds 🙂  I hope you will try my traditional Goan seafood stew, definitely a lip-smacking dish you’re sure to enjoy.

IMG_6450A crisp white wine will go down nicely with this Goan seafood stew.  Cheers!

Linking this post to Fiesta Friday #104 and Throwback Thursday #24


  1. This looks absolutely divine Loretta! I am grateful for the historical and cultural introduction to Goa which I was not familiar with except through bloggers’ recipes. I see several whole peppers floating on the surface. Were you turning up the heat to keep warm in the blizzard?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Johanne, I’m so glad to have educated you on my roots today. Goa is the Caribbean of India, and the smallest state in India. A lot of folks from the USA have never heard of it either. It has quite a unique culture, having had the Portuguese influences. It’s a hot-spot holiday destination for folks from Europe, Russia and beyond. The cuisine is amazing! I think you probably know other Goan bloggers…Nandini and Freda? I did not live there, but was born in Mumbai, and left India when I was 3 years old for other countries. There, you’ve got your Geography lesson for today 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t say I remember too much. I had a very dear Filipino friend when I lived in Toronto, she took me to a restaurant once, but I don’t remember much. Perhaps you can post something sometime? 🙂


      2. hehe. I’m afraid to post anything food related as that is totally not in synch with my blog’s theme. Maybe I can work something out one of these days. And besides, I’m a lousy cook. Don’t get me wrong, I love food but I just pretend to be good in the kitchen, trying hard chef/cook wanna be! 🙂


    1. Thanks Julie, yes one does learn quite a bit on here right? I have blogged on a few Goan dishes before, and I always try to throw in a bit of Geography, as a lot of Americans haven’t heard of the smallest state in India that was once ruled by the Portuguese. It’s a blend of east and west, and the cuisine is amazing! Thanks as always for stopping Julie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks Freda, I’ve got your endorsement, so it must be ok :). Aren’t I right though in saying that Goans usually enjoy seafood? I could easily live on seafood and vegetables. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loretta,
    How I wish I was your neighbor! That fish stew looks amazing! My ancestors came from Goa but migrated later to the Konkan strip. The fish and coconut were abundant there too. So I make a similar curry.I had never added mussels to it though. That is such a nice addition! I want to go out now and get the fish to make this stew!
    Did you make this during the snowstorm? Or is it just me who always think of yummy, spicy things to eat during a snow storm:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Sandhya, yes indeed we always dream of being next door to each other don’t we? 🙂 I recall you telling me that your ancestors came from Goa. I imagine they too enjoyed the fish. The stew was really delicious with tropical like flavors. I actually made it a day before the storm, but enjoyed it once the storm hit. It was quite something, many are still digging out, but we are in the 40’s for the next few days, so the 2 feet should hopefully get a head start on melting. I shouldn’t complain though, this is our first snow storm of the season (and hopefully the last), but I clearly recall how bad you guys had it in Boston last winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Loretta, here in Boston we are hoping we don’t get all of it in February:( I remember one year we had a huge snowstorm on April 1st. What an April fools that was! Glad you have the 40 degrees for the next few days.


    1. Thank you Fae… you know, I cannot answer that question for sure. But wow, how I love those beautiful custard tarts. I’ll have to ask my Mum whether or not she grew up with it. We are going to Portugal this summer, and I’m just looking online at taking a cooking course there – pasteis de nata and other Portuguese pastries was one of the courses we could choose from. I’m still deciding, but will be booking soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m trying! I like fried clams, and I have enjoyed scallops and shrimp, but not consistently. I really have never enjoyed a lobster. But I see all the beautiful and colorful dishes (like your stew) that chefs make and I want to like it so much! So I keep trying 😉


  3. OH my days Loretta this looks incredible. I love fish so much and I never know what to do with it but this seems so simple that there’s no real excuse. Apart from the fish itself, I have all of the ingredients! Will let you know how it goes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mandi, do give it a go, I’ll be waiting to hear how it went. Truthfully you can use any kind of fish, I just happened to have salmon, but really any white fish will be fine too. Good luck! 🙂


  4. Very artistically presented dish Loretta…sounds real tasty too..I must try this. I have shared your recipe on my timeline and already have three loving your recipe. Love tamarind…looking forward to making this. Loved your write-up as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice of you to grace my blog Melissa. This is the real thing :). Thanks for all the lovely compliments, and thank you too for sharing on your timeline. Much appreciated as always 🙂


    1. Ha ha Juliana, a curry “roll” it must be! Don’t you feel that way though when the weather is dull and dreary? Stews, soups, curries come to mind. This seafood stew is a favorite, I love it, the colors and flavors are robust and vibrant aren’t they? Do let me know if you try it. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  5. I totally agree with you on the fish and vegetable diet. Unfortunately we do not live in a very fishy region, but when I travel to maritime places, I take full advantage of it. I do love Goan cooking, the delicious mixture of European and Indian, and I think I could probably find the ingredients here if I really try – which I intend to do. Thanks for sharing and Happy Fiesta Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Hilda. I’m glad you enjoy Goan cooking, you’re absolutely right, its a blend of east and west. I’m sure you could get some of the ingredients in an Asian store near you? Thanks for hosting us all at Fiesta Friday. Happy weekend too!


    1. Thank you Jhuls, yes so comforting and made for the winter. Although you’re in the Philippines aren’t you? Enjoy your weekend too and thank you for stopping by 🙂


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