Fast Recipes

Sri Lankan snapper curry with basmati rice and yoghurt

Australian Gourmet Traveller fast recipe for Sri Lankan snapper curry with basmati rice and yoghurt

By Peter Kuruvita
  • Serves 6
  • Print
Sri Lankan snapper curry with basmati rice and yoghurt


  • 50 gm ghee
  • 20 fresh curry leaves, plus extra sprigs, to serve
  • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 10 red shallots, finely chopped (about 300gm)
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 stick of cinnamon, halved
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly bruised
  • 50 gm Sri Lankan curry powder (1/3 cup)
  • 1.5 litres fish stock
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • 1.2kg sweet potato, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 375ml tins coconut cream
  • 2½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 snapper fillets, skin on and pin-boned (about 200 gm each)
  • To serve: Steamed basmati rice, plain yoghurt, chutney and pickles, optional


  • 1
    Heat ghee in a heavy-based saucepan and, when a light haze comes over the pot, add curry leaves, garlic and shallots, and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes until shallots are translucent. Add remaining dry ingredients and cook for 4 minutes, stirring continuously or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Add stock and drained fennel seeds and bring to the boil.
  • 2
    Add sweet potato and simmer for 10 minutes or until just tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sweet potato to a tray. Bring curry base to the boil, add coconut cream and bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper.
  • 3
    Heat oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over high heat, add snapper fillets, skin-side down, pressing to ensure skin is touching pan evenly. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then turn and cook for another 3 minutes until just cooked through.
  • 4
    To serve, add sweet potato to curry sauce and cook until heated through, spoon rice into shallow bowls and top with snapper and a sprig of curry leaves. Ladle curry sauce into individual small bowls and pass separately. Serve immediately with small bowls of yoghurt, chutney and pickles, if using.