Fish Curry Recipe

Durban, South Africa’s location on the Indian Ocean makes fish and seafood the natural local favorite. In addition, its large Indian population, dating back to Colonial days, introduced an exciting arrays of curries and masalas which have become a local staple. Although the varieties of fish in South Africa are not necessarily available in North America, it is possible to duplicate the wonderful flavors and aromas of South African fish curry.


2 pounds of a firm salt water fish, e.g. yellow tail
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
juice of half lemon
vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons cake flour
1 cup water
½ teaspoon of allspcie
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 ½ Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon smooth apricot jam

Season the fish with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the lemon juice and set aside.
Heat a little oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and the garlic for 5 minutes or until the onion is transparent.
Add the curry powder and the turmeric and mix well.
Sprinkle the flour over and stir it in.
Add the water and bring to boil, stirring.
Reduce the heat to low and add the fish, allspice and bay leaf.
Simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
Mix the vinegar, sugar and apricot jam and add to the saucepan.
Simmer, stirring occasionally for another 15 minutes.
Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve immediately with basmati rice.

About Rabbi Michael Sternfield

Michael Sternfield has been a Reform rabbi for 40 years, most recently serving at Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1995 until 2013. He served for 20 years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, and briefly as the leader of the Durban, South Africa Progressive Jewish Congregation during South Africa’s historic transition to multi-racial democracy. He is now based in Los Angeles, California.