Masala Bhetki (Spicy Barramundi Fish Curry)


‘Bhetki Mach’ or Barramundi Fish is one of my favorite fish. I prepare many dishes with it. Recently I have shared ‘Fulkopi Bhetki’ which is one of must haves during winter. As the name states this ‘Masala Bhetki’ is little spicy and the gravy is thicker in consistency. In this preparation I use small ‘Bhetki Mach’, which I cut into two pieces. You can cook with bigger fish pieces too. Serve this fish curry with hot steamed rice only.

Ingredients to serve 4:

  • Small Bhetki Mach or Barramundi Fish – 4 (Cut into half)
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Green Cardamom – 2-3
  • Cinnamon Stick – 1”
  • Clove – 2-3
  • Ginger Paste – 1 ½ tsp
  • Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  • Onion Paste – ½ cup
  • Toamto Paste – ½ cup
  • Scrapped Coconut – 4 Tbsp (make a fine paste adding a little water)
  • Poppy Seed Paste – 1 Tbsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chilli – 3-4
  • Salt – To taste
  • Mustard Oil – For frying the fish + 2 Tbsp
  • Coriander – For garnishing


  1. Wash the fish and smear with salt and turmeric. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat mustard oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadhai. Once it’s smoking hot carefully place the fish one by one. Fry till golden brown on both sides. Drain from oil and keep aside.
  3. Add 2 Tbsp oil in kadai and add whole garam masala and bay leaf. Sauté till they exudes aroma.
  4. Add garlic paste and ginger paste and fry till raw smell goes off.
  5. Now add onion paste and tomato paste and fry till oil separates.
  6. Now add cumin powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Sauté for few seconds.
  7. Now add coconut paste and poppy seed. Mix well and sauté till oil appears on the side of the pan.
  8. Add 1 cup water and fried fish. Adjust salt.
  9. Cover and cook till fish is done.
  10. Remove cover and sprinkle garam masala powder, chopped coriander and slit green chilli. Cover and remove from heat. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  11. Serve hot with steamed rice only.

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