Haddock in Coconut and Ginger Sauce

This is haddock with an Indian twist. I remember when I was a little girl, before fish in Iceland was considered delicatassen (Icelandic fishermen used to throw lobster away when fishing..considering it rubbish in their nets. Can you believe that?). My uncle regularly used to bring case loads of haddock which meant we had to eat lots of fish. We were 6 in our family (3 very active boys and then me) which meant a lot of food was needed and this was cheap food. Nobody considered doing anything else with the fish than boiling it in salted water for 30 minutes on full blast. Often the potatoes and fish was cooked together in the same saucepan (I shudder when I think about this). I absolutely hated fish when I was younger and many a kid in Iceland has coped with overeating fish by drowning it in ketchup (which I never could). The smell of boiled haddock actually makes me nauseated and I will never, ever eat it that way again. The times have changed. Now, fish in Iceland is also considered a delicatessen...it is fairly expensive (but very fresh) and most people take care when preparing and cooking their fish. The Indian twist would never have been considered some 20 years ago, people would have thought you crazy to ruin a perfectly fine fish! I have to admit, I don't really miss those days. My grandfather used to say that drinking the cooking water when boiling fish was very, very good for you (and he always drank it like tea9. I never believed him though!

You will find fresh curry leaves in some shops that sell Asian cooking ingredients. Omit if you can't find them.

Delightful Haddock with an Indian twist

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free

Haddock in Coconut and Ginger Sauce

Serves 3-4


  • 1 kilogramme (35 oz) haddock or other white fish such as cod or halibut (it's best to buy the fish already scaled and trimmed of bones)
  • Small piece fresh ginger (equal to a large grape in size), peeled and chopped finely
  • 300 millilitres (10 fluid oz) coconut milk
  • 250 millilitres (8¾ oz) water
  • 3 chilli peppers (red), deseeded and chopped finely
  • 35 grams (1¼ oz) desiccated coconut
  • 2 onions, one chopped coarsely and the other finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped coarsely
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari sauce
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 8 fresh curry leaves (leave out if not available)
  • ½ yeast free vegetable stock cube


  1. Cut the 1 kilogramme fish into large pieces.
  2. Peel the 2 garlic cloves and chop coarsely.
  3. Cut the 3 chilli peppers in halves, scoop out the seeds and membranes and chop finely. You might want to use plastic gloves if you have sensitive skin.
  4. Peel the small piece of ginger (the skin is very thin, you can scrape it off with a teaspoon or a small knife) and chop finely.
  5. Peel one of the onions and chop coarsely. Peel the other onion and chop very finely. Set the finely chopped onion aside.
  6. Chop the 2 tomatoes coarsely.
  7. Transfer to the food processor: 75 millilitres (2¾ fluid oz) of the water, 35 grams coconut, garlic, chilli peppers, ginger, onion, 1 tablespoon tamari sauce, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 2 teaspoons cumin seeds and ½ teaspoon ground turmeric.
  8. Heat the 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large frying pan.
  9. Heat the finely chopped onion for 5 minutes.
  10. Transfer the content of the food processor into the frying pan. Heat for 3 minutes or until you have a lovely aroma. Stir frequently.
  11. Add the chopped tomatoes, 8 curry leaves, the ½ yeast free vegetable stock cube and the remaining 175 millilitres (6¼ oz) water to the pan.
  12. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce should thicken and to test this you can dip the back of a spoon in the sauce, if the spoon comes out coated, the sauce is ready. Cook for a little longer if it is too thin.
  13. Add 300 millilitres coconut milk to the pan and the fish pieces. Heat for 10-15 minutes with the lid on or until the fish is cooked (it should brake easily into flakes and feel firm to the touch without being hard or dry).
  14. Serve with brown rice, salad and chapati bread.


  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.    
  • You can use soy sauce instead of tamari sauce (note: contains wheat).
  • You can use regular stock cubes instead of yeast free ones.
  • You can use fish stock instead of vegetable stock.