Coconut Cod Curry

This Indian-style Coconut Cod Curry features cod loins baked in an easy coconut milk based curry sauce with tomatoes and onions. Served alongside rice, it’s a quick and healthy new way to prepare fish. This is the fourth installment of my “flavor profile” series using cod as the protein, and we’ll be looking at the Indian flavor profile.

A cast iron skillet with Indian-style coconut cod curry with cilantro garnish.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About the Indian Flavor Profile

In January, I started a series of cod recipes using different cooking methods and flavor profiles. The pan-seared Mexican fish was rolled out first, followed by Greek-style panko-crusted cod, and Peruvian baked cod with huancaina sauce.

Today, we’re looking at the Indian flavor profile. This is only a partial list, and focuses on ingredients that I use frequently and keep in my pantry and refrigerator.

Pantry Items

  • basmati rice
  • garam masala
  • turmeric
  • cayenne
  • black mustard seed
  • dried chiles
  • tamarind paste
  • dal (various lentils and pulses)
  • cumin and coriander seed
  • whole cardamom
  • fenugreek
  • coconut milk
  • good canned tomatoes

Fresh Items

  • cilantro
  • onions
  • spinach
  • fresh chiles
  • limes
  • ginger root
  • garlic
  • potatoes
  • plain nonfat yogurt

This coconut fish curry uses several of the above ingredients: Garam masala, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, coconut milk, lime, cilantro, canned tomatoes, and basmati rice. The curry is a simple one, and does not require grinding any spices. I cannot overstate the wonderful flavor of these San Marzano DOP Tomatoes.

The sauce requires a few minutes to sauté the onion, garlic, and spices before combining with the coconut milk and tomatoes. The fish bakes in the saucepan, so use an oven-safe pan.

🍅 About San Marzano DOP Tomatoes

NOTE: This is NOT a sponsored post. I did receive a few cans of tomatoes to try, but I have not been compensated. I have consistently used high-quality tomatoes in my recipes, and tomatoes that are certified “San Marzano DOP” tomatoes are the best IMHO!

A majority of people use the word “champagne” as a generic term for sparkling wine (72%), though Champagne is a protected word. Champagne refers only to Champagne made using traditional methods from grapes grown and wine produced in the Champagne region of France. 

In the same way, San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP are protected. For over 300 years, they have grown and thrived in the fertile and sunny region of Agro Sarnese-Nocerino, in the province of Salerno. They are delicate, and must be picked by hand (hence their price).

The flavor and aroma of these tomatoes is unique to the area. Simply put, they are bursting with flavor! I’m confident you’ll appreciate the quality they bring to your recipes just as I did!

The Consorzio di Tutela del Pomodoro San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP certifies, promotes, and protects these flavorful tomatoes. It is not a brand name, but a Protected Designation of Origin. Look for DOP certification on the label.

📋 Coconut Cod Curry Ingredients

Fish curry ingredients - Cod loins, tomatoes, coconut milk, onion, ginger, spices.
  • fish – For sake of consistency in this “flavor profiles” series, I have specified cod loins. You can certainly use your favorite firm, mild white fish including (but not limited to) barramundi, sea bass, red snapper, flounder, halibut, tilapia, etc.
  • onion – Use red onion, sweet onion, or yellow onion. The choice is yours.
  • canned tomatoes – It is my hope with this post to educate my readers on the value of really good tomatoes. I am totally a fan of Pomodoro San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP tomatoes. This is not a brand; it is a type of tomato grown and picked exclusively for the can, cultivated in the 41 towns situated within the volcanic-rich production area of Agro Sarnese-Nocerino near Naples, Italy. Of course you can substitute your favorite brand, but I hope you will give them a look!
  • coconut milk – I use lite coconut milk, but feel free to use full-fat coconut milk. This is the canned coconut milk you’re likely to find in the Asian foods section, rather than the non-dairy coconut milk in the Dairy section.
  • fresh ginger – Use either minced fresh ginger or the minced ginger or puréed ginger that is available in the grocery store.
  • garlic – Please use either minced garlic cloves or commercially available minced garlic rather than garlic powder.
  • ground cumin
  • garam masala – Garam masala is available as a spice blend, or you can make garam masala.
  • ground turmeric
  • ground cayenne – Cayenne is totally optional, but if you like a little heat, go for it!

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Prepare ingredients (this includes thawing fish and patting dry, chopping onion, garlic, and ginger).
Onion, garlic, and ginger in the sauté pan.
  • Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Take care to not burn the garlic and ginger!
Spices added to the sauté pan with a red spatula.
  • Add spices – cumin, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir-fry an additional minute or so, being careful to not burn the garlic and spices.
San Marzano DOP tomatoes added to the sauté pan
  • Add the canned tomatoes, coconut milk, and better than bouillon. If the tomatoes are large, break up with the edge of a spatula. Whisk or stir to incorporate.
Breaking up the tomatoes in the sauté pan.
  • Your tomatoes should be broken up and throughout the curry mixture.
Coconut milk and chicken bouillon added to finish the sauce.
  • The curry sauce is finished, and ready for the fish.
Cod loins are added to the sauté pan with the finished coconut cod curry.
  • Add the fish portions. Spoon sauce over the top.
  • Place the oven-safe skillet in the pre-heated oven uncovered. Cook until the sauce is bubbly and the fish flakes easily with a fork (about 15-20 minutes depending on thickness).
A close up of the finished coconut cod curry in a cast iron skillet .
  • Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro, and serve with rice.


Can I make this on the stove?

Perhaps you don’t want to heat up the kitchen with the oven. Yes, you can cook it on the stove. Sear the fish in a little bit of olive oil. Set aside. Make the sauce according to instructions. Add the fish back into the pan. Cover. Simmer until the fish flakes when poked with a fork.

💭 Tips

Use cast iron or stainless steel that is oven-safe, and you can do this dish in one pan.

This coconut curry is good with other proteins as well. Try it with your preferred vegetarian protein (tofu, seitan, Impossible), chicken, shrimp, pork, etc.

2 black plates with fish curry and white rice.
Serving suggestion: Serve the coconut fish curry with basmati rice, and garnish with lime wedge and cilantro.

In writing up this recipe/post, I cut the recipe by half. I’m usually cooking for two, and neither of us enjoys leftover fish. If you were to make this coconut curry with chicken, it would be fine leftover for 2-3 days.

Lastly, if you have any questions about San Marzano DOP tomatoes, check out the I Love San Marzano DOP website, or contact me at I’ll do my best to answer your questions, or refer you to someone who can!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

A cast iron skillet with coconut cod curry, cilantro, and grey napkin.

Indian-Style Coconut Cod Curry

Baked cod in a luscious coconut milk and Indian spiced sauce with tomatoes and onions that requires only a few minutes of active time!
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 261 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon oil - I like refined coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger - minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne - more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chicken better than bouillon - see Ingredients in post
  • 1 can coconut milk - I use lite coconut milk
  • 1 can good tomatoes - 14-15 ounce can
  • 24 ounces cod loins - or similar
  • sea salt and ground pepper - to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add spices – cumin, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir-fry an additional minute or so, being careful to not burn the garlic and spices.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, coconut milk, and better than bouillon. Whisk to incorporate.
  • Add the fish portions. Spoon sauce over the top.
  • Place in the oven until sauce is bubbly and fish flakes with a fork (about 15-20 minutes depending on thickness).
  • Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro, and serve with rice.


Macronutrients are an approximation from, and includes 6 ounces of cod and one-fourth of the sauce. It does not include rice or garnishes. I used lite coconut milk in the calculation.


Serving: 14g | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 11g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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🐟 Cod Recipes with Other Flavor Profiles

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