Spicy, coconutty and filling… this curry can be served by itself as a rich little fish stew or on a fluffy pillow of Basmati rice. The trickiest part of this dish is obtaining all of the ingredients.  Since not everyone has access to these specialty ingredients I have suggested substitutions where appropriate.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger None 5 min. Low (1) Normal

4.9 from 12 reviews
Pressure Cooked Coconut Fish Curry
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Southeast Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
If your pressure cooker does not have a "low" pressure setting, pressure cook for two minutes at high pressure in stovetop pressure cookers, and three minutes in electric pressure cookers.
  • 1-1.5 lb (500-750g) Fish steaks or fillets, rinsed and cut into bite-size pieces (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 Tomato, chopped (or a heaping cup of cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 Green Chiles, sliced into strips
  • 2 Medium onions, sliced into strips
  • 2 Garlic cloves, squeezed
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated Ginger, (or ⅛ teaspoon ginger powder)
  • 6 Curry leaves, or Bay Laurel Leaves, or Kaffir Lime Leaves, or Basil
  • 1 Tbsp. ground Coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Chili powder, or 1 tsp. of Hot Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp. Ground Fenugreek (Methi)
  • OR
  • 3 Tbsp. Curry powder mix. (instead of the 5 spices noted above)
  • 2 cups or (500ml) unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • Salt to taste (I used about 2 tsp.)
  • Lemon juice to taste (I used the juice from ½ lemon)
  1. In the preheated pressure cooker on medium-low heat without the lid, add a swirl of oil and then drop in the curry leaves and lightly fry them until golden around the edges (about 1 minute).
  2. Then add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute until the onion is soft.
  3. Add all of the ground spices: Coriander, Cumin, Tumeric, Chili Powder and Fenugreek and sautee them together with the onions until they have released their aroma (about 2 minutes).
  4. De-glaze with the coconut milk making sure to un-stick anything from the bottom of the cooker and incorporate it into the sauce.
  5. Add the Green Chiles, Tomatoes and fish pieces. Stir to coat the fish well with the mixture.
  6. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  7. Electric pressure cookers and stove top pressure cookers: Cook for 5 minutes at LOW pressure.
  8. When time is up, release pressure using the Normal method - release vapor through the valve.
  9. Add salt to taste and spritz with lemon juice just before serving.
  10. Serve alone, or with steamed rice.




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  1. Awesome post! Delicious looking coconut fish curry! Thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. This sounds like a great way to use up the sole fillets that have been in my freezer! Mmmm .. I’m definitely trying this one!

  3. Pam, I used frozen fish that was defrosted overnight in the fridge. Shhhh! ; )



  4. I think this kind of pressure-cooked dish is a perfect way to use frozen fish. If I’m sauteing some nice fillets I prefer to use fresh fish, but in a curry done in the pressure cooker I think frozen fish would be just fine.

  5. Love this. Made something similar recently with shrimp it was awesome

  6. Yum! I just got a new cuisinart pressure cooker to replace my old one that died, and I have been looking for good recipes. Thanks so much for this blog!

  7. I made this last night and it was delicious! The kids and adults all cleaned their plates. :)

  8. Wizzy, thanks for the testimonial.

    Sigrid, yes the flavors do mask a bit of the fish flavor, so best to use with not so great fish or frozen fish – it will make them sing!

    Carey, welcome. So glad you liked it and came back to tell us all about it!

    Everyone, I will post something along these lines on my “about” page in the future. But a friend asked me yesterday if I also publish the negative comments that I receive. The answer is YES! I publish all comments I receive on these recipes – I’m so glad when things work out but I’m really concerned if they don’t. So if you submit a negative comment, be sure to click on the “subscribe by email” link at the bottom of the comments box (it will let you know when I answer your comment or someone else leaves a comment for the specific recipe you are reading). There might need to be some back-and-forth to find out what happened!

    I do not publish obvious SPAM that has nothing to do with the recipe or encourages my readers to go to a dating site or marry for a green card. And lastly, I especially do not publish snarky comments from Anonymous readers who do not have the courage to attach their name/contact information to their opinion- you know who you are!



  9. I am relatively new to pressure canning and made this last night. While the fish was wonderfully tender, I was surprised at how much liquid there was — more like a stew than a curry, I thought.

    1. You can absolutely reduce the amount of coconut milk used for a thicker curry, just make sure to use enough to cover the ingredients.



  10. Is this a Thai dish or Indian? The lime leaves suggests thai, but you subs curry powder which would be more indian .. I’m just trying to grasp the flavor because I’m inclined to use curry paste with Kaffir leaves.. suggestions?

    1. It’s based on an Indian curry – the kefir lime leaves are a suggested substitution if you cannot get a-hold of curry leaves. Each recommended substitution will have a slightly different flavor profile but will still work well with the other ingredients.



  11. I found here so many stove and electric pc brands are mention here …seems so efficient to use but the one that i bought was electrolux …is it ok?
    Anyway thanks to this website posting… is very informative…esp for me a first time pc user…have tried cook some soup… i .hope to get help for more Chinese Asian recipes cooking using pc. Together with your guidelines i hope to boost my interest in pc cooking

    Thanks alot

    1. Yes, you can make almost all of the recipes on this website in an electric pressure cooker – when there is a variation (like cooking time or opening method) it is mentioned right in the recipe.

      I would love to include more Chinese recipes here, if you have any particular ones that you’d like for me to do, please post your request in the “conversions” forum and I’ll post how to make it in a pressure cooker!

      Here is the forum:



  12. I used some Chilean sea bass steaks that had been in the freezer for a while….and it was amazing! I have an elite electric pressure cooker, and since my steaks were pretty thick, I set it for six minutes instead of five. It worked fine. Next time, I would add a few more chilis, I like it spicy.

    1. What a great variation! Thanks for sharing it with us.



  13. Super easy to make and the family loved it although next time I think I will add potatoes and maybe peas.

  14. Hi Laura

    I was looking for a pressure cooked fish curry recipe and I found your website!

    I need help. It was mentioned in your recipe that you should cook the fish curry under low pressure setting. Unfortunately, my new electric PC (Philips HD2137/72) has only 1 setting for pressure cooking and I assume it is high pressure setting. How do I cook this fish curry with high pressure then?

    Thank you and Happy Easter to you!

    1. Welcome serikaya, since electric pressure cookers already cook at a somewhat “low” pressure I would reduce the cooking time for this recipe just a minute or two.

      Try pressure cooking for three minutes at “electric high pressure” and then check to see if the fish filet is done – it should be OK but if it’s not then just pop the lid back on and make it go for another minute. The cooker will reach pressure much more quickly the second time as everything in the cooker will already be hot and close to boiling temperature!



  15. I chopped the green chilli’s but touched my lips with my chilli fingers and decided after copious amounts of full fat milk that I would use only a few thin slices from the end of one of them and dry the rest! I’m hoping it doesn’t spoil the flavour but I can’t do hot chilli hot hot!! So for anyone out there who is a chilli wimp like me, mbe reduce those ingredients… I didn’t add chilli powder either so here goes!

  16. HELP! I cooked this last Friday and again this evening. I get a volcano every time I do the quick release. Last week (my first time to use the pot) I realized to hit cancel when the dish was done.
    This week I hit cancel before I did the quick release. What am I missing here? I am using the IP-Duo. It is not more then 1/2 full. I love the flavor of this fish but it’s a mess! Surely it shouldn’t be spewing liquid out.

    1. smlclair, the recipe is designed to use the water from the vegetables and frozen fish to reach and maintain pressure. If you used less fish, fewer vegetables or substituted them with a dryer vegetable – for example potatoes – the result would be very thick And when you release pressure everything would try to come out at the same time.

      Be sure to use low pressure and next time add and additional cup of water and release the pressure from the valve slowly.



  17. I made this last night and it was perfect! SO flavorfull and satisfying! And SO easy!

    1. I am a little confused because this recipe is also in the booklet that came with it and it says use manual, but doesn’t specify a pressure. I used high pressure and it came out fine.

      1. Glad you liked it.

        Misprints happen in books. And they are not easily corrected. The information above says to use LOW pressure, but does give an alternate timing for high pressure. Still there are a lot of variables in pressure cooking… The pressure YOUR PC maintains, Altitude, Your taste, etc. If it worked for you the way you cooked it, keep doing it the same way.

  18. This is just the recipe I needed to try and get hubby to like a fish chowder. If he doesn’ t like, I will and I will eat the rest! Love this recipe. : )

  19. I love this recipe and it’s a family favorite, but I need to make it without coconut milk for a potluck due to a nut allergy in the group. Do you see any issues with me substituting half and half? We generally avoid milk products, so I have no experience with using cream in the pressure cooker…

    1. Ray, I really don’t know what to recommend – personally I’ve never cooked fish in cream (except for clam chowder). I would do a similar technique as in the clam chowder recipe (cook the fish in broth/water only) and then mix-in the cream at the end. Let us know how it turns out!




  20. Excellent! Really good curry!

  21. Hello – I made this recipe but the color of the broth doesn’t look like it does in the photos or when I get this in a restaurant! Mine is brown! I used a curry powder mix from Trader Joes instead of the five spices noted here. The Trader Joes curry powder contains cumin, turmeric, coriander, chile pepper, mustard, cardamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, red pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, and saffron. I also used bay leaves because I didn’t have curry leaves. And I used jalapeño instead of green chilies, which probably also made the recipe too spicy! Any ideas on what I did wrong and how to get the color a bit closer? Thanks!

  22. The colour mostly comes from the turmeric.. The spice mix you list has a lot of brown powders so it may have just been overpowered.

    It is also possible that despite listing turmeric, some other spice was used instead. Possibly galangal, which is similar to turmeric in appearance but quite a bit browner. This is not necessarily a reflection on Trader Joes. It is a sad fact that spices have always been adulterated/faked. Often at source. The most common ones are Saffron (dyed cotton has been known to be used) and Cinnamon (usually replaced by the cheaper cassia)

    Ground spices also lose their colour (and flavour!) with storage. So you should always use as fresh as possible. If it has been sitting in your cupboard more than a few weeks it is probably too stale and should be tossed. Indian cooks I have talked to always grind their own spices immediately before cooking.

    1. Hmm, good to know about the spices! Yes, mine are all a bit old!

  23. I’m brand new to pressure cooking. This fish curry was my 2nd meal ever in my 8 qt stove-top model.

    My hubs and I were so excited as i chopped and crushed and rendered and sauteed. The 7 minute pressure cooker rice…perfect! Crispy fresh Anaheim chiles, heirloom tomatoes…and the curry. What a glorious meal this would be after such a long work day.

    And finally, the first bite…flavorless. Utterly and absolutely flavorless. Not inedible, just not the rich, pungent-sweet curry either hubs or I was expecting.

    What did I do wrong?

    1. This is a milder curry – but it shouldn’t be flavorless.

      If you seeded the chiles that would remove the heat plus other important flavor component to this dish are the ginger and lemon juice at the end.

      It’s a mild curry meant to complement the fish – I’m sorry it didn’t meet your expectations.



  24. about how many servings did this make? I’m having a party for 6 people – should I double the recipe?

    1. It makes 4-6 servings. That’s four people if that’s all you’re going to eat, and six if you’re serving it with rice and some other dish. ; )



  25. This was absolutely amazing! Decided on this recipe as the first recipe to make in my new Instant Pot. My family of 4, two kids under 6, enjoyed it immensely! I did find that adding salt and lime to taste made a big difference, really brought out the rest of the ingredients. We removed the ribs and seeds from the jalapenos. I just used the default high pressure but next time will use low as the cod dried out a touch. We had green beans along with ours, and will make it again tomorrow with cauliflower! My husband and I couldn’t get enough!

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