Fish moilee recipe


Fish Moilee

Fish curry in coconut milk and spices
Matthew George, executive sous chef, in the University of Guelph’s Hospitality Services, shares this recipe for fish moilee — a traditional recipe from Kerala, India. It’s a very delicate dish with beautiful flavours and serves well with steamed rice.


  • Tilapia  4 oz Filets – 10 pcs
  • Red Onion, sliced –  2 cups
  • Garlic, chopped – 4 cloves
  • Ginger chopped – 2 tsp
  • Cherry tomatoes – 12  each
  • Green Chili, split – 4 each
  • Curry leaves –  4 sprigs
  • Mustard seeds – 3 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 3 tsp
  • White pepper powder – 1 tsp
  • Coconut milk – 6 cups
  • Coconut oil – 60 ml
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice from two lemons


  1. Marinate the portioned fish with a touch of coriander powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt for 10 minutes.
  2. In a hot flat pan, quickly sear both sides of the fish in coconut oil and set aside. Add the remainder of the coconut oil to the pan. Heat oil,  add mustard seeds and wait until it crackles, add in curry leaves and sliced red onion, sauté the onion just to sweat and add sliced green chili.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the remaining turmeric and coriander powder; cook the masala for a minute, add coconut milk and stir well.
  4. Place the seared fish carefully into the pan, add salt and pepper, and simmer for a minute or 2 until the fish is cooked. Do not stir and break up the fish.
  5. Finish the Moilee with sliced cherry tomatoes and adjust seasoning.