Fish lemon stew recipe

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Seer, or Spanish mackerel, is Sri Lanka’s tastiest fish. Besides pan-frying, there are many other ways to bring out its flavors, as in this delicate stew recipe.


  • 1 lb (500 g) Spanish mackerel fillets (substitute with kingfish or cod) Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 red onion, 1 diced and 1 sliced into rings
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green finger-length chilies, finely sliced
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tender inner pari of bottom third only, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 lemon juice
How to Make It
  1. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Heat the oil until hot in a large stir-fry pan and sear the fillets to firm the flesh, then set aside.
  2. Reheat the oil and add the diced onion (not the onion rings), curry leaves, garlic, green chilies, cardamom pods, fenugreek and lemongrass. Stir-fry over medium heat until fragrant.
  3. Add the coriander, cumin, and turmeric, and stir-fry until the oils are released and their aroma is strong. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the onion rings and the fish fillets. Simmer until the onion rings and fish fillets are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool slightly and add the lemon juice to taste.

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