The original recipe of a Singaporean chef who combined the spicy recipes of his native India with the Chinese liking of fish heads. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised!


1 large fish head, about 1 kg (red snapper, dentex, monkfish…)
2 tbsp tamarind paste
400 ml coconut milk
2 fresh red chili peppers
2 fresh green chili peppers
2 tomatoes
4 tbsp curry powder
½ cup water
3 tbsp oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
10 okra pods


Rub salt into the fish head and wash thoroughly. Place in a pot that is slightly larger than the head and pour in just enough cold water to cover it. Take the head out of the water and bring the water to a boil. Place the head back into the pot and cook for several minutes, until the meat starts detaching from the bones. Sieve (reserve the liquid to prepare fish stock or soup), leave to cool, and bone.
Dilute 2 tbsp tamarind syrup in 3 cups of water.
In a bowl, combine the tamarind juice, the curry powder, the chopped red and green chili peppers (seeded for a less spicy version), the quartered tomatoes, salt and water.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the thin onion rings until translucent. Add the garlic and okra (larger pods halved) and fry.
Pour in the curry mixture, cover and bring to a boil. Add the coconut milk and bring to another boil.
Add the fish and cook briefly.
Serve with rice.

Note: Originally, tamarind pulp soaked in water and strained through a sieve is used instead of the tamarind paste; soaked grated coconut is squeezed to create a thick milk mixture; and 2 teaspoons of whole mixed spices (cumin, black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, peeled mung beans or navy beans and other) and 2 sprigs curry leaves may be fried together with onion for extra flavour.