Coconut and Chili Pan-Fried Halibut

28 Mar

Ever since visiting Calgary’s Mango Shiva for a delicious dinner a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been craving more Indian food. Which is how I came to try this Coconut and Chili Pan-Fried Halibut recipe from a cookbook called Indian Food Made Easy.

And friends, it did not disappoint.

I’m actually writing this blog post minutes after finishing dinner. Yes, I’m a bad host to my guest. But this is how excited I am to share the recipe with you.

You could serve this dish with a salad, as the author, Anjum Anand, recommends, or with a pile of veggies. My side dish was a concoction that was all my own — loads of veggies cooked in coconut milk, garlic and red curry paste, with lentils stirred in at the very end.

Whatever you serve it with, the fish will make your tastebuds happy. I promise.

Coconut and Chili Pan-Fried Halibut
  • 2 halibut steaks or other firm white fish
  • 2 heaped tbsp shredded coconut
  • 2 heaped tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lemon, to serve


  • 3/4 to 1 large fat red chili, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 in. fresh ginger, roughly chopped *I just threw in a spoonful of grated ginger from the jar
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 8 fenugreek seeds *I didn’t know what these were, let alone where to find them, so my fish was, sadly, sans fenugreek seeds
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Pound or blend together the marinade ingredients to make a fine puree. Over-season the mixture slightly, as it will be absorbed by the fish. Place the fish in the marinade in a nonmetallic bowl, and leave for at least 30 minutes.

Mix together the coconut and the flour. Maintaining a generous coating of the puree, coat both sides of the fish steaks well in the dry mixture. *I should note here that I bought fillets instead of steaks — because they looked more fresh — and I chopped them into big chunks. I tossed the chunks in the coconut and flour mixture, and it worked just fine.*

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan and, when hot, add the fish. Cook on a low heat without moving the fish for 4 minutes, then turn over and cook on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes or until done. Squeeze some lemon juice over the fish and serve with a hot salad.

Serves 2.




2 Responses to “Coconut and Chili Pan-Fried Halibut”

  1. gwendolyn March 28, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Looks delicious!

    Fenugreek is a pretty common ingredient in Indian cooking. You can probably find it in the ethnic food aisles at Superstore, but I can guarantee you can get it at the Silk Road Spice Merchant in Ramsay or from Fairmount Spiceland (3-7640 Fairmount Dr SE), which has an amazing selection of spices, herbs and other Indian ingredients.

    • The Toque Girls March 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

      Ah! Thanks for the intel. I’ll hunt it down the next time I make this! xo

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