Caldinha de Peixe

15 May

Making this recipe of Caldinha de Peixe (fish) made me remember my dad. He loved this curry for the subtle sweet flavors and less heat. He also loved any kind of fish as he grew up on a beautiful small island and had access to fresh seafood all the time. In Goa the fish used to make this recipe are pomfret, king fish, prawns or pumpkin. Since tilapia is more readily available in the stores I used it. Caldinha is a popular dish made for feast celebrations.

caldinha-de-peixe-fish-goan-portuguese-caldin-curry-vegetarian-vegan-recipeI have seen a variation of recipes online some with vinegar, tomatoes and ginger. I am sharing with you our household recipe that I remember that does not include the above. On a side note when vinegar was suggested there was a mention of the coconut milk cuddling. My suggestion is to skip it as the required sourness is achieved by adding tamarind.

caldinha-de-peixe-fish-goan-portuguese-caldin-recipeYou can make a few different variations to this recipe. It can be made vegetarian or vegan by adding pumpkin, mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, deep-fried tofu or deep-fried paneer. As it is way less spicier it is kid friendly as well.

Serving Size: 4-6


1 lbs of tilapia fillet cut into 4 pieces each

1 medium onion chopped fine

5 garlic cloves

10 whole peppercorns

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

tamarind the size of a nickel

1 jalapeno ( de-seed for less heat)

1/8 tsp of turmeric powder

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup water

salt to taste

couple chopped sprigs of fresh cilantro


Wash the fish apply salt and keep aside.

Grind garlic,cumin, coriander seeds, peppercorns, tamarind and 1/3 of the onion along with couple tablespoons of coconut milk.

Heat oil in a pan, add the remaining chopped onions, saute till soft.

Next add turmeric, the ground paste and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, water and simmer on medium heat uncovered ( else itΒ  will spill).

Finally add the fish, season with salt and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes on medium low heat till the fish is cooked.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.


Serve hot with white rice, appam( rice pancakes), bread or sanam( steamed rice cakes).

A perfect Goan meal would be rice, curry and some nice crispy Goan fried fish…yum!


69 Responses to “Caldinha de Peixe”

  1. Jim May 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    that looks good.

  2. cynthiamvoss May 15, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    Nice plating and photos. This recipe looks yummy!

    • Nandini May 15, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

      Thank You Cynthia. You should give it a try someday πŸ™‚

  3. lovebeautylifestrife May 15, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    I agree on the tamarind, and I love the benefits from tamarind as well. This is a beautiful dish. Gorgeous job! Don’t think you are limited on what fish to experiment with on this either, are you?

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:32 am #

      Thank You so much. You are right, it serves as a great curry base for any fish πŸ™‚ .

  4. bitsofnice May 15, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    Loving this dish. And a dish is always even more special when it brings memories x

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:34 am #

      Thank You so much. Yes some great memories πŸ™‚

  5. lindaravello May 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

    Oh yum yum yum ,definitely going to try this – not sure if I can find Tamarind here though! what would you suggest as alternative?

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:36 am #

      Thank You Linda. That is awesome to know. You can substitute it with lemon juice. Apply it to the fish along with salt to marinate. The sourness in the curry is a subtle flavor so you do not need much πŸ™‚

      • lindaravello May 16, 2015 at 9:43 am #

        Thank you – just off to stuff some mussels with garlic butter lol πŸ™‚

  6. sarahfoto May 15, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    Sounds great! Now I know what to have for lunch today πŸ™‚ If it was up to me I would eat fish every day but the rest of the family aren’t too keen.

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:38 am #

      Oh…that is so awesome Sarah. Please let me know how it goes for you πŸ™‚

  7. STAN the MAN May 16, 2015 at 3:30 am #

    Hi Nandini!

    Caldinha de peixe looks OUT OF THIS WORLD. This is a dish to DIE FOR, It has left Me totally flabbergasted, on a saturday morning in the UK. Nandini. there could not be a better way to start the weekend. Again it had to come from You. Just the other day We were talking about some Goan dishes, which are not prepared so much this days, in Goa. In other words, they have been just forgotten about. What a shame that is You come up with some YUMMYLICIOUS recipes. I am REMINISCING about Goan fish and the years gone by. What a feeling. By the way do You import the Goan palm vinegar to the U.S? I feel the Goan vinegar defeats all the other vinegars of this world. And if I may say this You are a ‘CHEF PAR EXCELLENCE.’. I have already emailed this recipe to Malcolm and I think He will fall in love with CALDINHA DE PEIXE. I can feel it in My bones. Caldinha de Peixe has got to be the PIECE DE RESISTANCE of any GOAN’S meal. And that’s COLOSSAL.


    Stan the man

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:48 am #

      Thank You so much Mr Stan for your kind words. You are right a lot of the old recipes are being lost with time and modernizations. As I make these recipe for my blog I do realize it more and more. I do not import the vinegar as of now but hopefully in the near future as I do get a lot of inquires about it.
      You and Mrs Stan take care and have a great weekend.

  8. sweetpea2love May 16, 2015 at 4:13 am #

    Loving what goes into this beautiful dish, will have to make this very soon, yum….

    Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:49 am #

      Thank You Laura so much. Please let me know how it goes. you too take care and have a great weekend πŸ™‚ .

  9. Mr. Militant Negro May 16, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negroβ„’.

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:52 am #

      Thank You so much Juessepi for the re-blog. You have a great weekend πŸ™‚

  10. elmdriveimages May 16, 2015 at 5:05 am #

    The images of your food preparation are always very well presented. Tasty!

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:52 am #

      Thank You for your kind words πŸ™‚

  11. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez May 16, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    Anything this beautiful must taste good. πŸ™‚ Coriander and cumin are among my favorite spices.

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:53 am #

      That is so good to know Jackie. Then I am sure you will definitely enjoy this recipe πŸ™‚

  12. wandering_artycat May 16, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    Thank you for stopping by my blog! This look really yum! Might try it some time! Cheers! x

    • Nandini May 16, 2015 at 9:59 am #

      You are so welcome :-). I enjoyed going through your post on Goa πŸ™‚

  13. fromthefamilytable May 16, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    A beautiful styling of what looks like absolutely delicious food.

    • Nandini May 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

      Thank You much Darryl πŸ™‚

  14. lynne hoareau May 17, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Nandini, this looks so amazing. I love fish and the idea of these flavours put together, sound fantastic :-). I must admit I have not heard of Tilapia fish here in South Africa, but I am keen to try this dish with available fish here. Thank you for a lovely blog.

    • Nandini May 19, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      Iynne, thank you so much for your kind words. You can use Hake fish or less boney fish, crabs and shrimps as well.

  15. Loretta May 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    Such a wonderful staple dish from Goa Nandini, and you’ve made it just so that I’m craving for it right now, even though I’ve just had dinner :). Love all the spices and ingredients that make this dish so special. Love King Fish and Pomfrets with it. πŸ™‚

    • Nandini May 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

      Thank You Loretta for your kind words. I too love king fish and recheado pomfrerts πŸ™‚

  16. Sandhya May 17, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

    Absolutely my favorite comfort food- fish curry with rice. I love the tatste of pomfret, prawns or king fish in this curry too.
    I could also relate to you thinking of your dad as I miss mine very much too.

    • Nandini May 19, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

      Thank You so much Sandhya…It is tough to let go. I hope you are coping well. Take Care.

      • Sandhya May 19, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

        Thanks Nandini. It is really tough, isn’t it?
        You take care too.

  17. Traditionally Modern Food May 18, 2015 at 1:50 am #

    Beautiful pic and yummy dish

    • Nandini May 19, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

      Thank You so much πŸ™‚

  18. gnovember May 18, 2015 at 3:16 am #

    YUM!! Bad idea to read this at my desk when I can’t pop out and make it! Great pic too!

    • Nandini May 19, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

      Thank you and I am flattered πŸ™‚

  19. Everyday Cooking With Mira May 18, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Thanks for the follow Nandini! I came to check yours and I’m delighted to find your blog. Theirs some great recipes I’ll try. This fish curt will be one of them. Keep up the good work.

    • Nandini May 19, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

      Thank You Mira appreciate your kind words πŸ™‚

  20. Love Served Daily May 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Great recipe

    • Nandini May 19, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

      Thank You so much πŸ™‚

  21. Lyliana Thia May 20, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    Hmmm… fish curry.. one of my favorites πŸ™‚
    My mom used to make something like this with lots of chilli πŸ˜€

    • Nandini May 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

      That is so good to know Lyliana πŸ™‚

  22. Meredith May 20, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Reblogged this on Meredith's Musings and commented:
    Nandini’s recipe makes me hungry.

    • Nandini May 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

      Thank You so much Meredith for the re-blog. That was very sweet of you πŸ™‚

  23. hopeandserendipity May 27, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Looks great!

    I felt a lump in my throat when you said how this dish reminded you of your dad. Whenever I cook curry chicken and anything to do with eggs, I think of my father too. πŸ™‚

    • Nandini May 28, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

      Thank You so much. I guess we both are daddy’s girls. It is hard to lose a parent.

  24. rubiredsaid May 28, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    These recipes look so delicious!
    I am a person who avoids heat nowadays because of stomach problems but will be nice to make these for others I know will love them.
    Thanks for your comment on my poem:LOVE or LUST?

    • Nandini May 29, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

      Thank You for your kind words and you are so welcome πŸ™‚

  25. dawnspitfire May 30, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

    Reblogged this on dawnspitfire's blog.

    • Nandini June 1, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

      Thank You so much for the re-blog πŸ™‚ . Appreciate it very much.

  26. Linda Creation June 7, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    Uuuuf hve 2 platter of steam rice Nandu ma favorite

    • Nandini June 9, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      That is good to know Lindu πŸ™‚

  27. Share JOYS! Project / Joy Journey 2 Health June 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

    Yumm! This curried tilapia recipe is making my mouth water just thinking about it! I will have to check out our local ethnic store to see if I can find that special ingredient you mention.

    PS Thank you for liking my recent post, “Vegan oil-free salad dressings”

    • Nandini June 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

      You are so welcome and Thank You too Joy πŸ™‚

  28. estherjane13 June 13, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Yum – this looks delicious. I’m definitely going to have to try it.

    • Nandini June 13, 2015 at 11:07 am #

      Thank You so much Ester. Please let me know when you do πŸ™‚

  29. Mariposaoro June 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    Looks really creamy and the ingredients are almost completely what I have in my cupboard.. I’d use different fish though..

  30. bnanno June 29, 2015 at 1:30 am #

    looks so yummy! I am marking too many recipes on your blog to make :).

    • Nandini June 30, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

      Thank You! That is awesome. I am happy my recipes appeal to your taste buds πŸ™‚

  31. Zira October 2, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. This recipe looks yummy. Now i know what to cook this weekend πŸ™‚

    • Nandini October 3, 2015 at 8:43 am #

      You are so welcome Zira. That is awesome πŸ™‚


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