Mackerel (Surmai) Fish Curry-مچھلی کا سالن

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This post is for my mother-in law. Thank you for everything!!!! 🙂

Both my mother and sister-in-law are amazing cooks and they have taught me all the basics. I got married at an early age and a novice in the kitchen. Both of them taught me everything one step at a time to get me started on my culinary journey . I will never forget all the time and patience they invested on my initial training. Both these ladies helped me immensely on my journey into the kitchen while making it fun at the same time.

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I remember this fish curry was one of my very first “difficult” recipes. After all these years and after learning all the different recipes and becoming a home chef I still make this same fish curry that my in-laws taught me, it’s that good. It has an amazing undertone of the Fenugreek and the curry is easy to make; takes less than 30 minutes.

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  • 1kg Mackerel steaks with bone (you can substitute any other fish, but make sure that steaks have bone in them)
  • 1/2cup gram flour/besan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbsp oil


  1.  In a bowl mix gram flour, water and salt and make a paste.
  2. Marinade the fish in this mixture for half an hour. This will help reduce the smell.
  3. Wash the fish to remove the paste and then place in a strainer to drain the water.
  4. Heat oil in a pan on medium to high heat. Fry the fish steaks for three minutes on each side. Do not overcook the fish.

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  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp dried Fenugreeek leaves
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, whisked
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup oil


  1. Place the onion, ginger and garlic in a blender and blend using no water. keep aside
  2. Heat oil in an an open faced pan and throw in the Fenugreek seeds. As soon as you smell the fragrance from the seeds add in the onion mixture.
  3. Turn the heat medium to low and cook the mixture for about 15 minutes till it stops smelling like raw onions.
  4. Dissolve turmeric, salt, red chilli powder and coriander powder in water and pour this into the pan. Cook it for a minute.
  5.  Now mix in the yogurt and cook for two minutes or until the oil starts to bubble on the sides.
  6. Add 1 cup of water and let this come to a boil
  7. Sprinkle the dried Fenugreek leaves and place the fried fish on top, dont mix yet.
  8. Cover and let cook on low to medium heat for 6 minutes.
  9. Turn the stove off as soon as the oil starts to separate on the sides.
  10. Sprinkle with garam masala and serve hot.

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  1. Make slightly larger sized fish steaks. If small, they might break while cooking.
  2. You can freeze the gravy and the fish after frying both and whenever in need of something quick, thaw, place in a pan and cover and cook for 7-8 minutes or till ready.

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Try this delicious and super simple recipe, serve with rice or naan bread or anything else you prefer. I’m sure this will become your favorite go-to fish curry recipe.

Aa jao bachon “Fish Curry” tayyar hai!!


17 thoughts on “Mackerel (Surmai) Fish Curry-مچھلی کا سالن

    1. Thank you so much, that is what I wanted my blog to be all about. Recipes that we make on a daily basis, the simple and regular Pakistani dishes that are common in regular household. Special cakes and traditional meetha’s are so popular no one will ever forget them. All these tiny little gems are being morphed into healthier versions which I totally think is the right way to go,but the original recipes are a taste of the past and I want my kids to remember:)
      And hahaha you sound just like my daughter she hates it when someone says “andaaza se daal lo”. I started giving her exact measurements because she follows the recipes to a t. Once i forgot to mention salt and she made her meal without salt 😂😂


  1. Oh! This beauty which I have fallen for on instagram. 😍😍😋😋 Love mackerels, fried or in curries. And loved the way you have cooked them in dahi. Haven’t tried cooking any other fish except Hilsa and Indian Carp with dahi. Would love to give a try to your recipe with mackerels. 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. With every new post from you I find a thing or two I could relate to. My saas taught me desi cooking and making roti. This curry looks perfect and addition of fenugreek is pushing me to give it a try. I so wish you add “a jao all drooling people fish curry Tayari hay”.

    Liked by 1 person

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