Fenugreek Fish

Fenugreek is an incredible herb/spice that smells and tastes like nothing when dry but releases a fragrant depth of flavor when cooked. If you add too much, it can make the food bitter. When it is added in just the right quantity it is transformative.  Here it balances nicely with the sweetness of the carrots and coconut. Fresh can be hard to come by but many Oriental and Indian grocers will carry it regularly in the winter time. It is usually sold by the bunch, just like cilantro. 

makes ~2.5 cups


1 lb skinless firm fish fillet like halibut or cobia

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

1 bunch fenugreek, chopped fine  OR ½ cup dry fenugreek leaves


2 cups coconut milk

2 Tbsp ginger purée

1 serrano pepper, minced

1 tsp salt

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

3 Tbsp coconut oil 

pinch asafoetida

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 cup chopped green onions or leeks



  1. Cut the fillets into 2 inch pieces and marinate with turmeric and salt. Wash the fenugreek leaves, discard the bottom 2 inches of the stems and finely chop the rest.
  2. In a stock pot, bring the coconut milk, ginger purée, serrano and salt to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover the stockpot and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. If the mixture appears to get dry, add some water and if has too much liquid, cook with the cover off.  
  3. Gently add the marinated fish pieces and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and stir in the chopped fenugreek leaves. 
  4. Pop: Heat up the coconut oil and add the asafetida, pop the mustard seeds and add the green onions. Sauté for 3-4 minutes on low heat then drizzle over the fish curry. Serve immediately.  

ideas / variations

  • This is one of the easiest and most flavorful way to cook fish. The fish is almost poached and all the flavor remains within the sauce.