Mtuzi Wa Samaki (East African Fish in Coconut Curry)

"A recipe from Zanzibar."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:




  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Variations: Mtuzi wa Kamba (Shrimp in coconut curry): substitute shrimp for the fish. There is no need to sear the shrimp initially.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. 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. <br/><br/>I may modify my rating if I try it again with the proper ingredients. Thanks for a good recipe.


<style>body { background: url(""); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes