Mtuzi Wa Samaki (East African Fish in Coconut Curry)

READY IN: 35mins
Recipe by evelynathens

A recipe from Zanzibar.

Top Review by comidacreativa

I found this to be a good recipe and I think the original has the potential to be GREAT. This is a very sweet dish without the acidity of the tamarind, but the flavors combine beautifully. Unfortunately, I did not have coconut milk (or coconut flavored anything to make it), tamarind, or green bell peppers. I will list the substitutions I made, but do the coconut milk at your own risk. Coconut milk: I blended pineapple tidbits, milk, and evaporated milk. Tamarind: molasses and lime juice (lots of lime juice). Green bell pepper: Poblano pepper (This was a GREAT substitution). Oh and my fish was already cooked so I put it in at the end and let the sauce heat it up for 5 minutes or so and it worked well.

I may modify my rating if I try it again with the proper ingredients. Thanks for a good recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet or pot. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Sear the fish fillets on both sides and remove to a plate. Do not cook through.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and peppers. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, garam masala or curry powder, tamarind paste or lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  4. Add the fish fillets, cover and continue to simmer until the fish is cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Serve with rice, ugali, boiled potatoes, boiled cassava or chapatti.
  5. Variations: Mtuzi wa Kamba (Shrimp in coconut curry): substitute shrimp for the fish. There is no need to sear the shrimp initially.

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