Quick Cod Curry with Mushrooms

A colorful weeknight dish that takes little time but packs tons of flavor!

We didn’t eat a lot of curry in our house when I was growing up. Typical old time New Englander, my father liked things on the plain side, but my mom loved spices and heat. Dad usually won the battle, telling my mother she could always add some tabasco sauce.

A world of possibilities

      As an adult, I learned to appreciate the marvelous flavors of India foods, and experimented with lots of combinations of spices. I’m sure I never even heard of fenugreek or garam masala when I was a kid! When my first husband was in the army, I met lots of other wives from around the globe, and one friend, Elizabeth cooked for us several times and introduced me to the basics. She taught me how to toast mustard seeds until they pop delightfully, and how to not be afraid to experiment and add this and that until it tasted the way I wanted. Like my mother, she seldom measured a thing, and it was always delicious.

Quick, easy, flavorful

I’m anything but an expert on India cuisine, I still don’t really know what I am doing, but we love a curry in this house, and we love fish. Many nights a week, we’re also looking to save a bit of time. This dish fits the bill on all counts.

Full of flavor and nutrition, this is a comforting dish of delightful, and I vary the spices every time, going by the feel of it as Elizabeth taught. One of my favorite aspects of making a curry is measuring out, smelling the aromas, and looking at the beautiful colors of the spices and herbs as I gather them in the pantry. It’s a sensory experience that sets the mood for creating the rest of the dish. How can you not be happy looking at these beautiful gifts?

So pretty to behold! The aroma and appearance of beautiful spices puts one in the mood to cook!

I’ve used humble button mushrooms here; they are inexpensive and easy to find. However, you can use whatever mushroom you have on hand or love. In the autumn, I’d probably use some locally foraged maitake mushrooms. Cod and haddock are easy to find here in New England, but use any whitefish you you like and can find locally. You could also use sea scallops or large shrimp, or skip the fish, and make this a tofu and mushroom curry, using some big meaty mushrooms. So many possibilities.

Always a substitution

      You can substitute 2 or 3 level teaspoons of your favorite curry powder for the spices in italics if you like, and use your own judgement in regard to heat. Or add other spices you like in the proportion that pleases you! I do like the Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder in a pinch, but it needs a bit of help with some cayenne for warmth.

      Measure if you like, or throw caution to the wind and just go by the feel of it. You won’t go wrong! I like more heat than my husband, but in 2023, the cook wins (and he’s finally getting used to it!).

Quick Cod Curry with Mushrooms

  • 1 lb. fresh Cod
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 sweet red pepper, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, adjust to taste
  • 1 dried red chili (cook’s option)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk, light
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, grated

Portion the fish as desired and season both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside while you get everything else ready.

Over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, mushrooms, and pepper and cook until soft and translucent, salting to your own taste. Make a little space in the center of the pan and add the garlic, tomato paste, and spices, and cook for a minute or so or until there is lovely fragrance. Have your vent fan on.

Deglaze the pan with water, reduce the heat to medium low, and add the coconut milk and ginger. Mix everything together and taste for seasoning. Nestle the fish in the curry, cover and cook for five minutes. Remove from the heat, and leave covered another five minutes.

Serve in a shallow bowl over brown rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, or toast. You can garnish with flat-leafed parsley (all right, cilantro if you don’t think it tastes like soap), and a nice squeeze of lemon or lime.

One of my favorite aspects of making a curry is measuring out, smelling the aromas, and looking at the beautiful colors of the spices and herbs as I gather them in the pantry. It’s a sensory experience that sets the mood for creating the rest of the dish.

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59 Comments Add yours

  1. Americaoncoffee says:

    Your plate of spices are arranged as a completed meal, instead of prep ingredients for the main. Your Cod has that yummy middle eastern and Indian flair. With your recipes, you would be the winner at any cook-off.

    1. Ah! What a sweet thing to say! I love arranging the spices, looking at them, and letting the aromas fill the air. Part of the experience!

      1. Americaoncoffee says:

        You are fanciful! There must be a book about you displayed in every hotel restaurant! ❤️

      2. Then I’d have to tell all my secrets!

      3. Americaoncoffee says:

        You’re too smart for a real give away, you know how to keep everyone enjoying the teasers, full of 2nd guesses for all the genuine know how’s and methods.

      4. You keep me laughing!

      5. Americaoncoffee says:

        ☕️☕️👍👍Laughter, good conversation and yummy food are some of the most exhilarating kitchen invites. 💓💕💓

      6. Always an empty chair!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love cod with a curry sauce!

    1. One of our favorites too!

  3. Lillie says:

    I’ve never tried to curry fish – it sounds wonderful. It’s amazing the different combinations of spices in curry.

    1. Thanks Lillie!
      You can really make this one how the spirit moves one! I don’t think you can go wrong!

  4. Maggie says:

    It looks delicious. My doctor frowns on coconut oil and milk because of the fat content. I do love curry though!

    1. Thank you Maggie! It’s so funny, my doctor recommends them because they are not animal saturated fat! I think it is good to be careful with them all, and I usually use the light coconut milk, for that reason.

  5. The thing is Dorothy, you don’t just cook, you snuggle up to the experience, roll around in the aromas, wiggle your toes in anticipation. You make cooking sound like an adventure and I love that about your stories and your recipes. I, on the other hand, find cooking taxing, more of a horror story than a fairytale so this is why I’m always so delighted by your posts! Keep them coming, you had me at humble mushroom. Hugs, C

    1. Thanks Cheryl! Such sweet comments! I do love the whole experience of cooking, especially for others. At the beginning, it’s all possibilities, and whether it turns out memorable or not, it’s still an experience!
      I love button mushrooms, and they are often pushed aside for the trendy mushroom of the week, with its high price tag!

  6. Ronit says:

    This must be so very delicious. I can smell the wonderful aroma right from the photo! 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! Love the smell of a curry simmering!

  7. A delicious way to prepare fish.

    1. Thank you Jovina! We love it!

  8. Christy B says:

    I have eaten chicken curry but never cod curry! Thank you for sharing this dish with us, Dorothy

    1. Thanks for stopping by Christy! We love a fish curry, and I think cod is my favorite. Lots of flavor, but you can still taste the delicious fish.

  9. Gail says:

    Yum-a-yum-yum. Curry is wonderful. 🍂

    1. It’s wakes us up that’s for sure!

  10. Eha says:

    *smile* India is but one of 23 countries in the world where ‘curries’ are a national dish and it boasts over 80,00 different recipes for us to try . . . I mean the differences from north to south are humongous to start with ! The name only came about because of the ignorance of the British memsahibs of the East India Company way back ! My favourites come from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand but the best fish curry methinks is Goanese with that Portuguese ‘overlay’. I love fish curries at busy times and am glad you have used actual curry spices tho’ may I question the coriander v cumin proportions – it is usually 3 to 1 ? If one really does want to use a curry powder methinks a conversation with the closest spice merchant would bear good fruit ! Lovely that you did post this . . .

    1. What wonderful information Eha! Thank you so much for all this marvelous information. As I said, I’m a novice, but having loads of fun experimenting.
      I will definitely try for coriander vs. cumin proportions next time and tell you what I think. i’m sure I will love it.
      One of the best curries I ever had was in a Thai restaurant many years ago, and I swear I still can remember that amazing flavor!

  11. Sherry M says:

    this sounds tasty. My fave curry powder is sri lankan. it’s amazing how many different spices we can use in dishes like this. I have to say a seafood laksa is a fave of mine.

    1. Oh, I love laksa too Sherry, another extremely flavorful dish that you can put together quickly but it tastes like you fussed over it for hours.

  12. Suzassippi says:

    I love curry–only had it for the first time in 2002 in South Africa. I am pretty sure the word “curry” never came up in our house other than in relation to brushing the horse.

    1. Ha Ha! Ours too! My mom loved spices, but to dad, salt and pepper were enough, so a lot of our food was delicious, but not terribly exotic!

  13. CarolCooks2 says:

    We love a curry and fish is such a lovely ingredient to add to a curry and its quick to cook as you know…A lovely mix of spices , Dorothy it looks and sounds wonderful …Take care 🙂 x

    1. Thanks Carol! This one is so delicious, it is in our regular rotation in one form or another!

  14. Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I am not a fan of curry but your presentation is to die for! 😁

    1. Thanks Nancy! So pleased to lure one to the curry side of life!

  15. Jenna says:

    Very creative Dorothy!

  16. Chef Mimi says:

    I love seeing the photo of the spices almost as much as seeing the prepared cod! Beautiful dish.

    1. I know Mimi! I love looking at them and enjoying the aromas even before I add them to the fish!

  17. sunisanthosh says:

    This fish curry looks so good. I love little spicy curries. Here, we have many curry dishes making with spices. Especially, aroma from the curries always bewitching.

    1. Thank you Suni! The aromas really do entice!

  18. This looks so good! Will have to try soon, thanks.

    1. Thank you! It’s was really tasty!

  19. terrie gura says:

    Wow, I can only imagine how fragrant this dish must have been!

    1. Thanks Terrie! The house smelled great! And lingered, nicely.

  20. You always use unusual seasoning combinations.

    1. Thank you, I think this one works beautifully!

  21. nancyc says:

    I can imagine how good this is, flavored with all those spices! I think I’d love this served over mashed potatoes—definitely comfort food! 🙂

    1. Thank you Nancy, over mashed potatoes you think you are in Heaven!

  22. Velva says:

    This looks delicious! I love the spice blend of curry. Growing up we ate pretty basic too but, I grew up in the city and was exposed to so many opportunities to experience new foods.

    This is the first time to your page. I will be back! Thanks for sharing with us.


    1. Thank you ad welcome Velva! So glad you stopped by. I always have the kettle on ready for new guests!

  23. It’s a sensory experience indeed 😋

    1. All the senses are happy with this one!

  24. Jhuls says:

    This looks so mouthwatering, Dorothy!

  25. YUMM! Great spices. 🙂 The sauce looks so good! 🙂

    1. Thank you! It was really filled with flavor.

  26. Mary says:

    Just got the sauce going right now with everything getting to snuggle together before I add the fish. Also a few prawns and mussels. I’m sure it’s going to be a tasty meal. Cook’s taste just now is coming along nicely. :))

    1. Yum, yum! Now I’m going to have to make this again. It is one of my absolute favorites!

  27. Mary says:

    This dinner was soooo nice. Couldn’t believe how nice especially with the shellfish.
    Lucky us, we even have some leftover to incorporate into a lovely small meal.
    This is definitely worth saving to be made again and again! :))

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this Mary! It is one of my go-to recipes that I know will be both delicious and quick, and I can mix it up according to what is available!

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