Fish Head Curry

Fish Head Curry is a dish that I miss most whilst living abroad. It is hard to find this dish on any restaurant’s menu. I love the luscious curry and especially the jelly like substance in the fish head. Yum!

I was pleased to find fish heads being sold in Portuguese’ supermarkets although they are not the same type used for fish head curry in Singapore. I bought 2 small fish heads and experimented with making fish head curry. Here’s my version.


  • 2 small fish heads (or 1 large one if available)
  • 1 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 knob of ginger
  • 2 Tbsp fried onion
  • 1 long red chilli (sliced)
  • 2 dried chillies (remove seeds and sliced)
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (bruised) #
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/2 aubergine (cut into large pieces)
  • 4-6 ladies’ fingers #
  • 1/4 cabbage (sliced)
  • Spices (mix together)
    • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • 2 tsp chilli powder
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp white pepper
    • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind (assam) pulp #(soaked in 1 Tbsp water). It not available, add an additional tomato
  • 2 Tbsp coriander leaves #
  • 5+6 curry leaves #
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt & sugar (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp oil

# These were not added in the video as I wasn’t able to find these ingredients after buying the fish heads.


  1. Clean the fish heads well and rub with a sprinkling of salt and some ginger. Rinse the fish heads under a running tap. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, fried onion, chillies and lemongrass. Fry until fragrant.
  4. Add the spices. Fry until the oil separates.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and tamarind, if available.
  6. Add 2 cups of water.
  7. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Add aubergine, ladies’ fingers, cabbage leaves, coriander leaves and curry leaves.
  9. Stir, cover and simmer until tender.
  10. Add fish heads on top. Cover with the lid and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the fish turned opaque, scooping curry over the fish heads from time to time
  11. Add salt and sugar to taste.
  12. Fish head curry is ready to be served with steamed rice.

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