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Assam Fish Curry

Assam fish curry recipe

Assam Fish Curry Recipe

Whip up this assam fish curry on busy nights - your family will be impressed with the results.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins


  • 40 grams tamarind better known as 'assam' locally
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 5 shallots peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 packet instant fish curry spice about 200g pack*
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tenggiri fish fillets about 400 to 550grams
  • 10 lady’s fingers (orka) tops trimmed, cut to 3 sections
  • 200 grams brinjal (eggplant or aubergine) halved lengthwise and cut to 1 cm slices
  • 2 tomatoes each cut into six wedges
  • chilli powder to taste (I use about 1 tsp)
  • salt or fish sauce to taste

* I use the A1 brand of instant fish curry spice. You can use your favourite brand.


  1. Dissolve assam (tamarind) in 500ml of water. Using a spoon, stir thoroughly until the assam is dissolved and the solution turns brown.
  2. Filter the assam solution (there are large seeds and long fibers) through a fine sieve so that you have particle-free assam solution. Set aside.
  3. Heat wok with oil. Add chopped shallots and stir fry until you smell the aroma.
  4. Add fish curry paste and curry leaves. Stir fry until you smell the fragrance of the curry, about a minute.
  5. Add assam solution prepared in step 2 and lime juice. Bring to a boil, add the fish fillets and simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Flip the fish fillets to the other side with kitchen tongs. Add lady’s fingers and eggplant. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. One minute before turning off the stove, add the tomato wedges.
  7. Season curry with chilli powder (for the heat; instant sauce is usually not very hot), and salt or fish sauce (if not salty enough). Serve with steamed rice.

Noob Cook Tips

  1. Instant curry sauce is usually not very hot, hence it is a good idea to add chilli powder to taste for the additional heat.
  2. A small dash of fish sauce added at the end of cooking goes a long way to flavour the curry.
  3. For a more distinctly sour assam taste, use more tamarind.

Leave a Comment

50 Responses to “Assam Fish Curry”

  1. jenny bautista — May 10, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

    i love to eat fish with asam and chili very nice and easy to cook….


  2. Jasmine — April 16, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

    Hihi may I know where u bought the fish paste curry and what brand you using?


    • wiffy replied: — April 20th, 2014 @ 11:02 pm

      A1 brand, from any local supermarket.


  3. Becky — January 18, 2015 @ 8:09 pm

    Your recipes have created a whole new meaning of dinner for my family. We’ve always enjoyed local delicacies and now can create them at home. Thank you!


    • wiffy replied: — January 19th, 2015 @ 4:33 pm

      Glad to hear that the recipes have come in handy, thank you!


  4. Jo — March 4, 2015 @ 2:40 pm

    Can I use any fish fillets and add fish head in it as Assam Fish head curry??

    If possible, do advise the type of fish head you recommend for this dish. Thanks!


    • wiffy replied: — March 4th, 2015 @ 3:12 pm

      You can use garoupa or red snapper for fish head, or ask the fish monger to recommend and de-scale/clean for you. Actually the fish head is usually quite meaty, so you may not need to add fish fillet.


      • Jo replied: — March 4th, 2015 @ 3:41 pm

        I see. As I’m in Australia thus even harder to find some of the fishes at the fish market. Alright, will try and make them this weekend. Hopefully it’ll be as yummy as yours~ Q.Q

  5. Jess — August 26, 2015 @ 11:55 am

    Looks delicious! Is this recipe freezer friendly?